SEPA approved Engro coal mining company’s reservoir project, SHC told

HYDERABAD: The Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has submitted in the Sindh High Court here Thursday that it has approved Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company’s (SECMC) reservoir project in Tharparkar.

The reply was submitted in response to a petition against the reservoir’s construction filed by Lakho Bheel, Dost Ali and other residents of a village in Islamkot taluka of Tharparkar district.

In his statement, Director General of SEPA Naeem Ahmed Mughal said the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for the 1,400-acre reservoir in Gorano under the effluent disposal scheme was approved on February 10.

“The approval was given after completion of all legal formalities as

prescribed under the law including but not limited to the public hearing which was conducted on Apr 17, 2015,” the statement added.

According to the DG, the petitioner filed the petition after an unexplained delay of over 3 months after issuance of the NOC by the SEPA.

“All the averments made in the petition are false, erroneous, incorrect and denied being without substance,” he said.

He further maintained that the project would not cause any destruction in the area.

Mughal also apprised the court that the petitioners did not seek any

remedy against their complaints from SEPA before filing their petition in the court.

In a separate reply, Mukhtiarkar of Islamkot stated that land of the petitioners was away from the land for the project while adding that none of the petitioner own any piece of land in the reservoir’s 1,400 acres.

The petitioners had maintained that the project would harm thousands of people, livestock, environment and wildlife.

It would also turn the groundwater in Ghorano and other nearby villages brackish.

According to the SECMC, the reservoir was an integral component of their $2 billion coal mining and 660 megawatt power generation project in Thar Coal Block II.