DEHRADUN: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday rejected a plea by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) seeking review of an order passed by the Uttarakhand Environment Protection & Pollution Control Board and slapped a fine of Rs 57.9 lakh on the power major for damaging the environment.
The company was found to have violated muck disposal site maintenance norms at its Tapovan-Vishnugad hydropower project in Chamoli, which resulted in damage to the environment. Incidentally, the 520 MW Tapovan-Vishnugad project was severely damaged in the February 7 flash floods that resulted in over 100 personnel, who were associated with the project, being reported missing. TNN & AGENCIES
‘Polluter pays principle rightly invoked’
TOI tried to reach out to the power major’s representatives in Uttarakhand but did not receive a response. A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel noted that “slope of the muck dumped at the hydropower project was dangerously double the standards with potential for erosion” and dismissed NTPC’s plea against the state pollution control board’s order.
“Erosion was seen in terms of gully formation in downstreams of the muck dumps. It is clear that the operative muck disposal sites were not being maintained as per the norms laid down by the ministry of environment and forests,” it said. “There is no merit in the appeal as ‘polluter pays’ principle has been rightly invoked for damage to the environment. The appeal is dismissed. The amount of compensation which may be recovered by state pollution control board may be utilised for restoration of environment,” the tribunal said.