The National Green Tribunal (NGT), imposed a penalty amounting to 25 crore on Hindustan Zinc Ltd. and others for violating environmental norms in Rajasthan’s Udaipur. ANI.
The order was issued while the tribunal’s Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel was hearing applications. These applications stated that the project proponent (PP), had violated environmental conditions and other norms.
Applicants also claimed that although they had noted some violations, the committee ignored others. The resulting recommendations did not address the problem.
“There is damage at the wells, pits and loss to livestock, contamination of groundwater, and land degradation that has not been fully appreciated on a wrong assumption that clear evidence of industrial activity is required.” The applicants claimed.
Given the Project Proponent’s violations and damage and the overall cost of ecological rehabilitation, restoration and financial capacity of the PP, the PP is required to deposit a total of 25 crores to the District Magistrate, Bhilwada by three months,” said the bench.
It stated that the joint Committee of CPCB and state PCB, along with any other expert, could prepare a plan for remediating soil and quality of groundwater in this area. Also, it could also undertake a health improvement program for the residents and cattle.
NGT further observed that the committee had failed to take into account the precautionary principle and ignored serious violations of water quality and land damage.
It is not a matter of referring to hospital admission records that has caused health problems. The recommendations for plantation may be followed, but further studies on remedial actions such as de-siltation, increase in water sprinklers and other measures may be required. “The bench stated that the PP must take necessary restoration measures to improve water quality and soil quality.
“Violation of plantation condition has continued for a long time. Requiring the plantation costs to be deposited without establishing accountability for past violations may not suffice. It said that environmental law violations cannot be taken lightly if the violators are entities like the current PP and the victims are poor villagers.”
The counsel for Hindustan Zinc stated that the monitory cost of the plantation as assessed by the committee would be deposited by PP and steps would be taken to increase plantations in accordance with EC conditions.
The PP will also conduct further studies and ensure de-siltation at the tailing and garland dams. It will also increase water sprinklers to reduce fugitive emission. There is no need to take any further remedial actions as the PP does not have responsibility for groundwater, soil health, fertility, or health.
With inputs form agencies.
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