Develop mechanism for reliable environ data: NGT

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to develop a mechanism to have authentic data in its Environment Impact Appraisal (EIA) reports and blacklist consultants who furnish "cooked" data.

"In view of the infirmities (in the EIA report) noticed, we direct MoEF to develop appropriate mechanism to check the authenticity of environmental data reported in the EIA report which would facilitate a more realistic environmental appraisal of project. Steps should also be taken for black listing consultants found to have reported `cooked data` or `wrong data` and for producing sub-standard EIA report," a bench comprising Acting Chairperson Justice A S Naidu and G K Pandey said.

The remarks were made by the bench which suspended the environmental clearance granted for expansion of a steel and captive power plant of Scania Steel and Power Ltd in Chhattisgarh.

The MoEF was directed to "revisit" its decision of granting clearance after conducting a public hearing at the project site and nearby areas.

The tribunal found that data provided in the EIA report about the company was "unreliable" and several pollution indicators were shown even below their minimum detectable limit.

It was hearing a plea filed by NGO Jan Chetna through advocates Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Chaudhary contending that the clearance was granted to the project without public hearing as required under EIA Notification of 2006.