The Supreme Court has stayed the National Green Tribunal’s hefty fines on power producer NTPC for not fully utilising ash generated from its thermal projects and asked the tribunal to hear the company’s reasons before taking action.
In November last year, the tribunal had imposed penalties on some thermal projects of state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for failure to meet the ash utilisation norms laid down by the environment ministry in January 2016. Thefines ranged from Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 crore, depending on the size of the project.
NTPC had contested the levies on the ground that the NGT did not take into consideration the reluctance of user industries, such as cement plants, to take fly ash from power plants. The environment ministry’s 2016 notification had made it obligatory on user industries to take fly ash from thermal power plants so that 100% utilisation of the same may be achieved.