Report on Banadag railway siding, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, 06/11/2020

  • 06/11/2020

Joint inspection report in the matter of Original Application No. 61/2019/EZ in the matter of Tripurari Singh Vs Ministry of Railways dated 06/11/2020. In pursuance to the National Green Tribunal order of July 17, 2020 a committee was constituted comprising of members from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) and the District Magistrate of Hazaribagh to inspect the Banadag railway siding.

It is a public railway siding owned by the Indian Railway and comes under East Central Railway. The railway siding is in revenue village of Banadag and extends in village Katkamdag and Banka, the habitation of said villages are more than 500 meters away from the railway siding. There is no major river except one seasonal streamlet in the southern side which is about 1 km away from the Banadag railway siding. No water flow was observed in the streamlet during the inspection. There is one pond in eastern side of the railway siding which is about 600 m away from the siding. Gonda dam is at about 2.5 km in the north of Banadag railway siding.

At Banadag railway siding, coal from Pakri Barwadh coal mining project of NTPC Ltd (NTPC-PBCMP) is being loaded and transported to its various thermal power plants. NTPC-PBCMP is having valid Consent to Operate under Air Act 1981 and Water Act 1974. Both the consent is valid till December 31, 2023. The industry is also having valid authorization under the Hazardous and Others Wastes Rules, 2016 and is valid till May 16, 2023.

Agricultural fields were found on the northern and south eastern side of the railway siding. Paddy and other crops cultivation were observed in the nearby fields. There were no signs of pollution on the paddy or other crop fields.

No forest land was found to be encroached by the railway siding. MoEF&CC had accorded Stage-I and Stage-II clearance for diversion of 6.291 ha of forest land in favour of NTPC for construction of siding along the Banadag railway siding. Further, coal transportation trucks are properly covered with tarapaulins for prevention of spillage and generation of dust.

Permanent boundary wall of 10-12 feet height was constructed all around the railway siding. About 7 to 8 ft of green agro net was installed to further increase the effective height of the wall. Construction and installation of 20 ft height windscreen (over and above the boundary wall) was under progress. To prevent dust from the loading and unloading activity, high capacity fixed rain guns were installed and were operational. Two to three rows of plantation were observed all along the boundary wall of railway siding.

The Joint Committee report said that public roads are used by empty trucks and no coal transport trucks of NTPC are passing through the habitation of villages. Appropriate action was being taken for pollution prevention at Banadag railway siding with the installation of high capacity fied rain guns, installation of wind screens over and above the boundary wall and installation of effluent treatment plant.