Order of the Madras High Court regarding regarding compensation to persons affected by oil spillage due to collision of ships Kamarajar Port, Chennai on 28/01/2017

  • 12/04/2018

Order of the Madras High Court in the matter of Meenava Thanthai K.R.Selvaraj Vs The Secretary To Government of Tamil Nadu dated 12/04/2018 regarding compensation to persons affected by oil spillage due to collision of ships M. T. Dawn Kanchipuram and MT BW Maple near Kamarajar Port, Chennai on 28/01/2017.

HISTORY AND COURSE OF THE CASE

  • Due to the said collision several fishermen were affected and Meenavar Nala Sangam had filed Application before the National Green Tribunal (South Zone) praying for restoration of the environment by removing the oil layer with scientific methods and to provide compensation for the affected persons.
  • A Committee with six members under the Chairmanship of Additional Director of Fisheries was formed to suggest suitable ways to calculate the compensation amount to be given to different categories of fisher folk affected by Oil spill, viz., fishing labourers, fisherwomen, engaged in fishing allied activities, fish vendors, fisheries allied activity labourer, mechanised fishing boat owner, motorized country craft owner and non motorized country craft owner.
  • Interim Order passed by the National Green Tribunal (South Zone), Chennai dated 26/04/2017 states that the Department of Fisheries had arrived at a tentative figure of Rs.135.35 crores to be the compensation amount. NGT Southern Bench had directed the Department of Fisheries to arrive at a final amount of compensation to be paid after conducting proper enquiry and finalising the list of person who are affected.
  • NGT Southern Bench in its Order dated 08/11/2017 had directed payment of interim compensation where there is no dispute with regard to the identity of the applicants and the details of the damages claimed.

Non-disbursement of compensation has been brought to the notice of Madras High Court. Rs.141 crores has now been deposited with the Government by the insurers of the ships involved and meant for disbursing the same to the above said category of persons. Disbursement of due compensation to those eligible be done by the Director of Fisheries, Chennai, within four weeks.

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