National Green Tribunal issues 22 directions to Sterlite

TNPCB and CPCB shall be the oversight body to monitor such pubic grievances and its timely disposal, the bench added.

Chennai: Quashing the closure orders of Sterlite Industry, the National Green Tribunal has directed the company to take steps to comply with the six directions issued by it, besides the 16 directions as suggested by the committee appointed by it.

“Apart from the directions (suggested by the committee), we are of the view that the appellant may, on ‘precautionary principle’, take following steps in the larger interest of safeguarding environment”, said the principal bench of NGT, New Delhi, while allowing an appeal from Vedanta Limited.

The bench said the appellant unit to create a dedicated and interactive website with participatory public forum wherein the affected stakeholders can lodge their environmental related grievance for the time bound redressal and disposal by unit. This website should be widely publicised and have links with the website of the district administration, TNPCB and CPCB shall be the oversight body to monitor such pubic grievances and its timely disposal, the bench added.

The bench said the appellant unit should regularly monitor the ground water quality as mandated by TNPCB and upload the data in comprehensive form without fail on the website. Failure of timely analysis and uploading of the same shall result in appellant unit paying an environmental compensation at the rate of Rs 10 lakh for every default with the District Legal Services which shall maintain a separate account for the same and supervise its spending in matters like environmental education and awareness, the bench added.

The bench said the appellant unit shall also deposit a sum of Rs 2.5 crore as a token amount for their failures for extended procedures liability for inappropriate handling 3.5 lakh MT of copper slag on patta lands with the State Legal Services Authority for creating and maintaining the environmental awareness in the area through the District Legal Services Authority by preparing a comprehensive action plan, the bench added.

The bench said the appellant unit shall give timelines for effective compliance with respect to “conclusions” in the report of the committee at serial number 4 (e), 4 (f) and 4 (g) and the same shall be uploaded on the said website. The progress thereof shall be monitored not only by general public through public forum but also by the oversight body comprising district administration, TNPCB and CPCB. Any non-compliance with regard to non-adherence to timelines shall entail an environmental compensation of Rs 10 lakh per default, the bench added.

The bench said the industry should ensure effective and environmentally safe management of Copper Concentrate, Sulphuric Acid including its leakage, leachate management of Gypsum Pond leachate and stored Copper Sulphate electrolyte etc., The District Administration and appellant unit shall prepare off-site and on-site Emergency Plans respectively and upload these plans on the said website and conduct regular mock drills towards meeting environmental emergency in case of any environmentalaccident/incident, the bench added.

The bench said in addition to the above, the safe handling of effluents and emissions including solid waste should be done by a monitoring group comprising of TNPCB, CPCB and representative of District Administration at regular intervals and have the same uploaded on the said website in comprehensible form for creating awareness on functioning and environmental performance of appellant unit, the bench added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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