Chennai: A Chennai-based firm would have to pay a heavy price for disobeying the law. The Southern Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed Rs 30 lakh ‘Polluter Pays’ fine on M/S Chemical Construction Company Pvt. Ltd, on being found culpable of carrying out its industrial activities for the past five decades without getting a ‘Content to Operate’ (CTO) from Tamil State Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and approval from Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA).
On top of it, the CMDA’s land use classification map of Thiruvottiyur village in North Chennai, where the company is located, is denoted as a mixed residential and commercial area, wherein any type of engineering and fabrication units are not included as permissible use as per CMDA 2026 Master Plan. The nature of the functioning of the firm includes cutting machines, wielding, surface grinding machine, hammering and column structure for fabrication.
Delivering the judgment, NGT second bench, comprising Justice P. Jyothimani and R. Nagendran, upheld the TNPCB decision to order closure of the unit and termed the company as ‘polluting industry’, both under Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. The court passed the orders while dismissing the company’s petition challenging TNPCB’s move to close the unit.
In the 20-page order, a copy of which is available with the Deccan Chronicle, the green bench said: “Taking note of the nature of the activities carried on by the company over a substantial period without obtaining consent, we impose an amount of Rs 30 lakh to be deposited under the “polluter Pays” principle, with the Principal Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, Department of Environment and Forest, within four weeks before it files a fresh application seeking CTO from TNPCB. Until then, the company shall not be permitted to carry on any industrial activity till its application is considered by the TNPCB and appropriate orders passed”.
However, the company’s managing director O.V. Nambiar claims that the company was established in the year 1961 and obtained the necessary permission from the Directorate of Industries, Commercial Tax Department and obtained the Import-Export Code from the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.
“There has been no complaint from anyone and the complaint made by a mosque, based on which TNPCB ordered the closure, was motivated. The TNPCB has also raised for the first time the objection of not obtaining consent after 50 years of the running of the unit in the same area”, he argued in the court....