Indian Oil Corporation told to pay Rs 25 crore pollution compensation
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to deposit an amount of Rs 25 crore as compensation for measures to restore quality of air, water and earth in the areas around its refinery in Panipat.
CHANDIGARH: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to deposit an amount of Rs 25 crore as compensation for measures to restore quality of air, water and earth in the areas around its refinery in Panipat.
The NGT passed the orders on Friday while hearing the case filed by Satpal Singh, sarpanch of Singhpura Sithana, which is adjacent to the Panipat refinery.
While directing the IOCL, the bench headed by Adarsh Kumar Goel, also gave a dressing down to the IOCL for non-compliance or delayed compliance or action on its part on the recommendation of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) and another agency.
NGT seeks action report on measures taken by Dec 31
In November 2018, Sarpanch Satpal Singh had petitioned the tribunal, armed with reports of CPCB and other agencies, to seek compensation for the villages due to the refinery discharge, which had led to earth, water and air pollution.
During the hearings, the CPCB, HSPCB and NEERI had suggested to the tribunal that a compensation of Rs 659 crore be given.
The agencies had sought a compensation of Rs 26.90 crore as compensation for oxygen depletion, Rs 92.59 crore for damage to water and public health and Rs 540 crore as compensation for damage caused to groundwater.
In May last year, the IOCL authorities had deposited an interim amount of Rs 17.31 crore with National Green Tribunal, which was later handed over to the agencies involved in monitoring the compliance measures.
The NGT had also directed the local administration to constitute a monitoring committee.
On Friday, the hearing resumed with the IOCL submitting the action taken report.
After debating the measures, the CPCB and HPSCB alleged that IOCL’s lack of interest had resulted in delayed or non-compliance of important recommendations by CPCB and other agencies.
While directing the IOCL to pay the compensation within a month, the bench also directed the CPCB, HSPCB and Panipat district administration to prepare and finalise an action plan for pollution-control measures and submit an action taken report by December 31, 2020, so that the case could move towards finality.