The Gujarat High Court on Thursday issued notices to state government and Adani Power, a subsidiary of Ahmedabad-based Adani Group, to file reply to a PIL that has alleged environmental damages at the Adani Port Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) and its surrounding villages in Kutch district. The division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala asked the respondents to file the replies by August 21 for next hearing. The PIL, filed by Mangal Murji Gadhvi, a resident of Bhadiya Mota village in Mandvi taluka, has alleged that Adani Power has caused ecological damages in APSEZ and in the surrounding areas.
The PIL alleges, “Adani Power Limited is using 18.72 crore liters of sea water every day by 20-feet deep and 50-feet broad intake channel (kuchcha) for its power plant by boiling the same at a particular temperature and by adding chemicals. Thereafter without any treatment the said water is discharged into the sea by the outlet channel.”
The PIL has added that the sea water gets mixed with the drinkable groundwater when it is being brought through the canal and also salinity is ingressed in the fertile land of the area, rendering it unfit for agricultural purpose. The petitioner has said that the company is discharging hot and chemical water into the sea because of which lots of fishes are dying and, therefore, the livelihood of the fishermen is affected.
The petitioner demanded directions from the state High Court to Adani to make a proper canal system for its power plant and to establish a plant to treat hot water generated from the plant. The petitioner has sought relief that “unless and until the permanent channel is constructed, the usage of sea water is required to be restricted as every day it causes damage to the environment in the sea and also to the agricultural fields near the kuchcha channel.” The petitioner had approached the Bhuj Collector in 2013, but no action was taken.
Chhabilbhai Patel, Abdasa MLA requested the secretary of Industries and Mines, Gandhinagar to inquire into the allegations.
He has mentioned in the petition that the Additional Chief Secretary informed Patel that Forest and Environment department informed Gujarat Pollution Control Board to inquire. Subsequently, the matter reached the central government which appointed a committee headed by noted environmentalist Sunita Narayan.