Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (May 8, 2020)

Down To Earth brings you the top environmental cases heard in the Supreme Court, the high courts and the National Green Tribunal

By DTE Staff
Published: Friday 08 May 2020

LG Polymer India Pvt Ltd directed to pay Rs 50 crore

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on May 8, 2020 directed LG Polymers India Pvt Ltd to deposit an initial amount of Rs 50 crore with the district magistrate of Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh for the “extent of damage to life, public health and environment” caused due to leakage of styrene gas from a chemical factory owned by the company in RR Venkatpuram village that resulted in nine deaths and hospitalisation of thousands, along with damage to environment and habitat.

Notices were issued to Andhra Pradesh State pollution control board, district magistrate, Vishakhapatnam, Central Pollution Control Board, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and LG Polymers India Pvt Ltd.

The tribunal also sought a report from a five-member committee. The committee has to visit and inspect the site at the earliest and give its report before the next date on the following aspects:

  • Sequence of events
  • Causes of failure and persons and authorities responsible
  • Extent of damage to life, human and non-human, public health and environment — including, water, soil, air
  • Steps to be taken for compensation of victims and restitution of the damaged property and environment and the cost involved
  • Remedial measures to prevent recurrence
  • Any other incidental or allied issues found relevant

Major structures in Jharkhand lack EIA

The NGT on May 5 granted more time to MoEF&CC to file an affidavit on the matter of major structures in Jharkhand not having undergone the EIA process and action to be taken. Jharkhand was also asked to file show cause notice on “why the compensation assessed by the CPCB was not directed to be paid.”

Laterite stone mining in Khordha district

The NGT on May 5 granted one more opportunity to Jharkhand “in the interest of justice” to file a report on the allegation of illegal laterite stone mining at 40 different sites in the Odisha’s Khordha district to an extent of about 500 acres, encompassing several villages including Tapanga, Anda and Jhinkijhari.

The complainant also said that neither environmental clearance nor consent to operate was obtained from the respective authorities and that in the process of the mining activities, trees were cut for clearing the area.

The state was supposed to file its reply by March 17.

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