NGT forms 5-member panel to investigate on violation of environmental norms by JSW
New Delhi, May 29: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has formed a five-member committee to probe into a plea alleging violation of environmental norms in running the industrial operations by Jindal Steel Works Limited at some villages in Raigarh district of Maharashtra.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel asked the committee to look into the issues including compliance of the Water and Air Acts and Hazardous Waste Management Rules, destruction of mangroves and damage to agriculture, if any.
The committee would be headed by an officer of the rank of joint secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), nominated by the secretary MoEF and also comprise officials from the Central Pollution Control Board, IIT-Mumbai, district magistrate of Raigarh and members of the state pollution control board.
"It may also estimate the extent of environmental damage and the amount of compensation required and restitution plan (in case of non-compliance). The committee will be at liberty to take assistance from any other expert institution or individual and conduct proceedings online, except for site visit, if necessary," the bench said.
"The CPCB and the state PCB will facilitate the functioning of the committee and act as nodal agency for coordination and compliance. The applicant as well as the project proponent will be at liberty to represent their respective versions to the committee through the state pollution control board," it said.
If the violations are found, the committee may also suggest the amount of compensation to be recovered apart from other restoration measures, the tribunal said while directing it to submit a report within four months via e-mail.
"The first meeting of the committee may be held preferably within one month to take stock of the situation and plan further course of action. While giving a report to this tribunal, its copies be given to the applicant as well as the project proponent for their response, if any, before the next date," the bench also comprising Justices M Sathyanarayanan and Brijesh Sethi, said.
The state pollution control board had earlier told the tribunal that there are non-compliances by the unit which was denied by the project proponent. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Raigarh native Samita Rajendra Patil against violation of environmental norms by Jindal Steel Works Dolwi, Karawi, Gadab, KharKaravi, Kharmachela and Jui Bapuji villages and their surrounding areas.
The case set out in the application is that the location of the plant in question adjoins the creek up to Dolvi village. Kharmachela and other villages are covered by mangroves which protect the environment in the area.