Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (January 19, 2023)

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: Thursday 19 January 2023
Daily Court Digest: Major environment orders (June 7, 2022)

Andhra: NGT slaps Rs 10 crore fine 

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has slapped a penalty of Rs 10 crore on an apparel manufacturing company in the Anakapalli district of Andhra Pradesh for two gas leak incidents which affected a large number of workers.

The tribunal was responding to a petition January 18, 2023.

Two repeated gas leak incidents in the Seeds Intimate Apparel factory within a short span in 2022 raised questions about the safety of the employees.

The NGT directed the unit to follow safety protocols in future and pay adequate compensation for the harm it inflicted on the victims and the environment.

Some 539 workers identified as having admitted to hospital due to the incidents are entitled to a compensation of Rs one lakh each, the tribunal said.

The tribunal held the project proponent, Brandix Apparel India Ltd, accountable for a total compensation of Rs 10 crore. 

The amount should be deposited with the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (SPCB) within two months. In case of failure, coercive measures, including closure, may be taken by the SPCB, the tribunal said.

Out of the said amount, SPCB must remit Rs five crore with the Andhra Pradesh State Legal Services Authority (APSLSA) which will be distributed among the victims.

The NGT ordered APSLSA to prepare an action plan to identify and pay the victims. The SPCB will spend the remaining amount for environmental improvement in the area by preparing an action plan with the approval of the CPCB. Restoration measures will include installing equipment for monitoring volatile compounds in the area.

Fire at NLC India

The NGT directed Neyveli Lignite Corporation India ltd (NLC), Cuddalore, to take stringent measures to stop industrial accidents in future. 

The tribunal initiated suo motu proceeding on the matter in response to a media report published December 23, last year.

A fire outbreak at Neyveli New Thermal Power Station in Cuddalore district December 22, 2022, led to the death of one and injured 4, the report read.

The tribunal ordered NLC to submit a report on actions taken within one month. The report should also be sent to the environmental, coal and power ministries for necessary policy review. 

The tribunal directed the Union ministries of coal and power to take necessary measures, including the modernisation of power plants, to prevent such incidents in future.

“It is disheartening to note that such incident has been repeated due to negligence on the part of the management, which calls for serious soul-searching at local level of management as well as stringent remedial action at higher level in the establishment,” said the bench of judges headed by Adarsh Kumar Goel.

Stone quarries near residential area

The NGT directed a seven-member joint committee to submit a report on the stone quarries operating close to residential places and public roads in Kerala. The tribunal was responding to a petition January 18.

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