HC dismisses PIL against Tata Power project in Raigad
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Wednesday gave a green signal to the thermal power plant of Tata Power Company in the neighbouring Raigad district, which will be supplying power to Mumbai.
The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi dismissed a public interest litigation filed by five local farmers, alleging irregularities in the acquisition of land and non-compliance of environmental laws.
"Aside from the delay (in filing the PIL), the bonafides of the acquisition and the reasonableness of the settlement are both seen," the court said.
The PIL had claimed that 906 landholders and 500 landless labourers and their families were affected by the project.
TPC is going to set up a 1,600 MW power plant, for which 1,200 acres of land is sought to be acquired by the Government in villages Dherand and Shahapur.
Although the PIL was dismissed, the High Court asked TPC not to construct on the land covered by mangroves, which are protected along the entire coastline by a 2005 High Court order.
The bench held that TPC can construct jetties and facilities for intake of cooling water on mudflats along the coast where there are no mangroves.
The court also upheld the argument of the petitioners that an excess 309 acres had been acquired, and asked the District Collector and the special land acquisition officer to reconsider it.
The PIL had claimed that the land where power plant is to come up was a rich agricultural land, and it should have been converted to industrial use category before acquisition.
TPC contended that 67 percent of the project-affected persons had no complaints, and the rehabilitation package offered by the company was more than what is required under National Resettlement Policy.