NGT expresses displeasure at Centre for not responding to plea challenging notification regarding use of coal with higher ash content

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Representative Image

By Sushil Batra

New Delhi [India], June 11 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday registered its displeasure with Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Ministry of Mines, Power and Coal, for not filing any response even after nine months in the petition challenging its notification regarding the use of coal with a higher ash content.

The Bench headed by NGT's Chief Justice AK Goel said: "No response has been filed by the MoEF&CC and Ministries of Mines, Power and Coal even after nine months."

"...We give one more opportunity and direct the Centre that necessary response must be filed within one month failing which joint secretaries of MoEF&CC and Ministries of Mines, Power and Coal may remain present in person by video conferencing to show cause as to why adverse action be not taken for their failure, in accordance with the law....," the NGT said.

The Court's direction came during the hearing of a petition filed by a trust namely Say Earth challenging a notification dated May 21, 2020, issued by the MoEF&CC under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, permitting the use of coal with ash content higher than what was permitted earlier, to the detriment of environment.

Earlier, NGT in September 2020 had sought a response from the ministries of Central government concerned and directed them to clarify their stand on the issue.

The petitioner trust had claimed that the said notification was issued without any study by experts in the matter and was passed also without the due procedure.

According to the notification, thermal power plants will be able to use coal irrespective of ash content and will be liable for a proper disposal of coal ash and meeting emission standards set by the apex pollution monitoring body. (ANI)