Can Adani Power defy the law without any consequences?

CAG accuses Adani Power for dumping fly ash without prior approval, did not install online monitoring system despite orders.

Girish Chandra Murmu is the ‘Comptroller and Auditor General of India’ since 2020, India’s premier Government audit institution. The CAG is responsible for auditing all the Government institutions, organisations, corporations funded by the Government etc which was established as per the Article 148 of the Indian Constitution. The CAG report titled “Performance Audit of Air Pollution Control by Government of Gujarat” had been tabled on 22nd September 2022, which was initially sent to the Government on 31st May 2022.

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The report mentions that there are 62 monitoring stations in Gujarat and the number of monitoring stations had remained unchained since 2015-16 and the report also points out that the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) is yet to comply with the directions issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on April 2016 for installing at least two Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System in each Critically Polluted Areas (CPA).

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Fly Ash dumping by Adani Power (Mundra) Limited, Mundra

‘Fly ash’ is the finely divided residue and a common byproduct of burning coal, especially in coal power plants. The fly ash is typically dumped in low lying areas after acquiring necessary Government approvals and the Coal Power generating companies should maintain a record of how they are handling the residual fly ash as it is mandatory from 2017 to utilize 100% of the fly ash in other ways such as in road laying, cement industry, manufacturing bricks etc.

Excerpts from the CAG report.

According to the CAG report, Adani Power (Mundra) Limited (APL) had dumped 15.42 lakh Metric Tons of fly ash for filling low-lying areas between 2014-15 and 2018-19 without proper approval from Gujarat Pollution Control Board, in addition to reporting 100% utilization. The report also accuses Adani Power (Mundra) Limited of not complying with an earlier order for installing online monitoring system in the plant premises and at the fly ash dumping sites issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

Other polluters

The CAG report also points out Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL), Mundra and Torrent Power Limited, Ahmedabad for non-compliance in dumping fly ash.

Table in the CAG report under “Non-Disposal of legacy stocks of fly ash”

Government’s Action?

Using the CAG report, questions are being raised whether the Gujarat Government is turning a blind eye to the pollution caused by Adani Group’s power generation plant. There haven’t been any action against Adani Power (Mundra) Plant or other violators at the time of this article.

 

A popular website dedicated to following up Adani group of companies’ actions, had called out on the inaction by the Gujarat Government against the Adani Power’s Mundra power plant in a recent article and also highlighted that it was during Narendra Modi’s tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the power plant was sanctioned and commissioned.

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