Copies of departmental investigations carried regarding the environmental clearance given by CPCB to Cairn Energy, Vedanta Ltd, Focus Energy, etc. for extraction of oil and gas in Jaisalmer & Barmer - CIC: Approach Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board19 Aug, 2021
The appellant has sought the following information:
1. Provide copies of the departmental investigations carried out with regard to the environmental clearance given by CPCB to the companies (Cairn Energy, Vedanta Ltd, Focus Energy, etc.) for extraction of oil and gas in the Districts of Jaisalmer and Barmer.
2. Provide details of action and investigation done on the complaints made by the residents of Districts of Jaisalmer and Barmer, since 2005, with regard to the pollution clearance given to the above said companies.
3. A public hearing was held on 28/09/2018 at Govt Higher Secondary School, Sar Ka Par Kawas, in connection with grant of environment clearance to Vidanta Ltd for oil and gas blocks allocated in Barmer.
In this regard, provide copies of the NOC given for the same.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO did not provide satisfactory information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant submitted that he had approached Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board and they informed him that the information sought was available with CPCB. He admitted that when approaching the Rajasthan SPCB he did not enclose the FAA order where directions were given to him to contact the State Board for the information. The CPIO submitted that a suitable reply was given vide letter dated 16.04.2019.
Based on a perusal of the record, it was noted that the CPIO vide letter dated 16.04.2019 provided a point-wise reply as follows:
“1. No such information is available to CPCB. However, the CPCB has received public complaint in August 2018 and same was communicated to Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB).
2. Recently, Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) submitted a status report.
3. No such information is available with CPCB related to public hearing dated 28.09.2018 as CPCB is not dealt EC/NOC of the industries.”
In addition, the Oil & Gas drilling does not fall under 17 categories of highly polluting industries. The complainant, therefore, was requested to communicate with the Member Secretary, Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board for further information.
The FAA vide order dated 27.05.2019 disposed of the first appeal and held as follows:
“The appeal was examined and it is informed that the RTI application dated 27.03.2019 was replied by the CPIO vide letter dated 16.04.2019.
Appellant is hereby advised to approach Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) in this regard.”
The Commission could not find any flaw in the respondent‘s reply. Moreover, the appellant is again advised to approach the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) and provide them a copy of the FAA’s order of CPCB and seek further information on that basis
In view of the submissions of the CPIO, the Commission finds no scope for any intervention in the matter and accordingly upholds the submissions of the CPIO. No further action lies.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Yashovardhan Shandilya v. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in File no.: - CIC/CPCBD/A/2019/129876, Date of Decision: 12/05/2021