Following orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), an inspection team has reached the Banadag Katkamdag coal siding in Hazaribagh in Jharkhand. The team has visited the site following a petition by one T.P. Singh that National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and its vendor – Thriveni Sainik Mining Private Limited, have been involved in serious violations of norms in the area.

The team, comprising two members of the NGT, Deputy Commissioner of Hazaribagh District Aditya Kumar Anand, Petitioner T.P. Singh, Ashok Kumar Yadav from Pollution Control Board, Hazaribagh visited the spot. 300 Local farmers present there told the team members that the Railway Siding is surrounded by cultivable fields and their farm land is being adversely affected by coal dust and also the residue left behind by coal. Not only this, locals have zlleged that this has resulted in lung problem and breathing issues to many residents. They said that even the water of the well, which they used for drinking purposes, has become black and not worth drinking due to the Railway Siding where coal is being off loaded. Locals have been, since long, demanding shifting the Railway Siding to some other place.

Sources said that at least fifteen locals were quite vocal against the NTPC and its local vendor Thriveni Sainik Mining Private Limited, for blatantly flouting norms of coal mining in the area. In addition to this, at least twenty residents of the area handed over written representatins to the members of the NGT team, compalining about the high-handedness of the officials of the NTPC and employees of Thriveni Sainik Mining Private Limited.

Counsel for the petitioner, Advocate Satya Prakash said that the land that NTPC and the mining company used for coal transporting has been acquired for the Shivpur-Tori railway line. Now NTPC uses this land for coal dumping and transporting. Also, during transporting coal for NTPC, dumpers of Triveni Sainik Mining Company pass through other villages including Katkamdag, Banadag, Banka, Sultana. Due to this, cultivable land and environment are being adversely affected, he added.

The petitioner, T.P. Singh told NTPC is mining from Pakri-Barwadih and takes railway siding at Katkamdag for loading coal racks. Transportation is done with dumpers. Nearly 150 acres of cultivable land has been polluted due to transporting and dumping of coal. As a result of spilling of coal from dumpers, fertile land is no longer suitable for cultivation. Health hazards and other factors are also there, he says.

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