NGT & Court Matters

Delhi Fire Accident: NGT Orders Factory not to resume unless Compensation paid as per Law

25th November 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

The National Green Tribunal Principal Benched headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson, on 23rd November 2022, gave its final hearing on the matter of Original Application No. 804/2022. The matter was about footwear factory fire hazard in Outer Delhi’s Narela Industrial Area on 1st November 2022 at around 9:30 AM. The NGT has noted that two persons - Akhil (20 yo) and Sonu Thakur (24 yo) died and 18 were injured.

NGT observed that there have been directions earlier for effective working of Special Task Forces (STFs) to check safety measures in operating hazardous activities to save human lives, which are required to be reviewed by the Chief Secretary, Delhi. NGT also found several directions for speedy disbursement of compensation. NGT stated that "While primary liability to pay compensation is of the owner/occupier of the premises where the incident happened but if compensation is not paid or there is a delay in making such compensation, the State Authorities must make payment and recover the same from the Project Proponent. Victim should not remain without remedy. Access to remedy has to be provided."

The Green Court has asked Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) to provide legal aid in such matters.

The Tribunal has directed District Magistrate to ensure that victims are duly compensated as per law and if within three months from the date of incident compensation is not paid to the victims, the State itself will be liable to pay compensation at the rate of Rs.20 lakhs in respect of each of the deceased victims and Rs.15 lakhs to persons who have burns in excess of 50%, Rs.10 lakhs for persons who have burns from 25 to 50% and Rs.5 lakhs for persons who have injuries between 5 to 25%. Victims who were treated as outpatients and who had minor degree of burns or other forms of simple injuries shall be paid Rs.2 lakhs.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has been directed to ensure that till payment of compensation and compliance of environment safety norms, the units in question are not to resume their operation or create third party rights in their assets. We hope Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) will provide necessary legal assistance to the victims.

NGT EZ Bench grants 2 months' time to CPCB on OA No. 64/2020/EZ

23rd November 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

In the matter of Dakshin Banga Matsyajibi Forum versus Inland Waterways Authority of India & Ors. in Original Application No.64/2020/EZ (I.A. No.99/2021/EZ & I.A. No. 235/2022/EZ), the Eastern Zone Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) noted that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) not filed affidavit as directed by the NGT its order dated 13th October 2022.

The CPCB sought 3 months' time for filing the affidavit, stating that the mechanism/guideline for determination of Environmental Compensation for the damage caused to the environment due to spillage of High Spillage Diesel (HPD)/fly-ash in saline/brackish water is yet to be framed

The NGT Bench headed by Justice B. Amit Sthalekar, Judicial Member observed that one month has already passed since the last date and directed CPCB to come up on 17th January 2023 with its affidavit along with the rules/guidelines for determination of Environmental Compensation for the damage caused to the environment due to spillage of High Spillage Diesel (HPD)/fly-ash in saline/brackish water.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India informed to have prepared the draft Standard Operating Procedure but yet not approved by the competent authority.

OA No. 606/2018: Which State to pay how much environmental compensation?

Updated on 15th November 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

Original Application No. 606/2018 with regard to Compliance of Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and other environmental issues the Principal Bench of National Green Tribunal will next hear the status of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Lakshadweep on 17th November 2022. In previous cases the NGT has limited the proceedings only to the issues of solid waste and sewage management.

Hearing on the status of Madhya Pradesh on 10th November 2022, the NGT Principal Bench noted that "The Chief Secretary Madhya Pradesh fairly accepts that there is gap of about 1500 MLD in sewage generation and treatment. In normal circumstances, the State would be liable to pay compensation of Rs. 3000 crores at the scale of compensation fixed in other States. However, it is pointed out that in Madhya Pradesh, already more than Rs. 9000 crores stand allocated on the subject."

Quantity of waste generation in the State 6562 TPD, out of which 6479 TPD is processed, leaving a gap only 83 TPD. Legacy waste to the tune of 33 lakh MT to be remediated by 86 ULBs, while 50 lakh MT remediated by 50 ULBs. It was also reported to the NGT that Madhya Pradesh generates 2183.7 MLD sewage from urban areas, and it has established a treatment capacity of 1311.99 MLD but utilizes only 696.03 MLD. Further 214.01 MLD of treated sewage is reused for various purposes. Notable that earlier NGT did not levy environmental compensation charges against Sikkim and UT of J&K.

Earlier, the State of Karnataka was slapped with an environmental compensation charge of Rs. 3400 Crores for the gap in treatment of liquid waste/ sewage to the tune of 1427.4 MLD and un-remediated legacy waste is to the extent of 178.59 MT.

The environmental compensation charge for the State of Telangana was determined to be Rs. 3800 Crores for the gap in treatment of liquid waste/ sewage to the tune of 1824 MLD and un-remediated legacy waste is to the extent of 5.9 million MT.

In the same matter, the State of Punjab has to pay a total environmental compensation of Rs. 2180/- Crores for its failure in treatment of 1000 MLD liquid waste/ sewage and 57.6 lakh MT of un-remediated legacy waste.

The NGT Principal Bench has Ordered State of Rajasthan to deposit a total compensation of Rs. 3,000/- Crores as the State Govt. has failed in treatment of 1250 MLD liquid waste/ sewage and remediation of 85 lakh cu.m/MT, besides a per day gap of 2989 TPD solid waste.

Maharashtra has been directed to deposit the maximum amount of environmental compensation charge, so far, Rs, 12,000/- Crore as it has reported failure in providing treatment of 5420.33 MLD liquid waste/ sewage as well as un-remediated legacy waste to the extent of 3,94,19,287 MT.

West Bengal was the first one in the list. The State was charged with Rs. 3500/- Crore for the gap in generation and treatment of 1490 MLD sewage/ liquid waste and for failure to process solid waste, unprocessed legacy waste 1.20 crore MT.

However, the NGT Principal Bench, headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson has spared the State of Sikkim and the UT of Jammu & Kashmir from the payment of such an Environmental Compensation charge.

The cases of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Chandigarh in this matter may also be taken up in November 2022.

National Green Tribunal sets out Mandates for a Clean, Green India

9th November 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

The National Green Tribunal (NGT), often referred as The Green Court of the Country, has set some incredible examples to ensure environmental justice. Taking up one to one with Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories, the Green Court has set out clear cut mandates for Clean India. The Tribunal has been interacting with the Chief Secretaries to take stock of situations existing on liquid Sewage and Solid Waste Management. After a halt of about one and a half year after the recession of Pandemic, the Court restarted its proceedings with the States and UTs. Read more

Ignoring NGT Orders amount to Criminal Offence u/s 26 of the NGT Act

7th November 2022 YouTube Twitter LinkedIn

In the matter of SND Public School, Palwal versus State of Haryana & Ors., Original Application No. 391/2019, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has regretfully noted that no action took place against the filing of false record by the Municipal Council, Palwal.

The NGT Principal Bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson has categorically mentioned that the Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Haryana has failed to give any report on the Tribunal's direction to take remedial action.

The three Member NGT Principal Bench has reminded that ignoring the order of the Tribunal may amount to criminal offence under section 26 of the NGT Act, apart from being serious dereliction of duty on his/her part. Giving a hearing on the matter on 1st November 2022, the NGT has directed the Chief Secretary, Haryana to look into the matter and ensure compliance of directions issued on 28th January 2022 by the Tribunal, after seeking explanation of the Principal Secretary, Urban Development for such unexplained failure and dereliction of duty. More in our forthcoming Print version