Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding violation of environmental norms by Jindal Steel Works in village Dolwi, Karawi, Gadab, Raigarh district, Maharashtra, 27/05/2021
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Samita Rajendra Patil Vs Jindal Steel Works Ltd. & Others dated 27/05/2021.
Grievance in the application was against violation of environmental norms in running the industrial operations by Jindal Steel Works Limited at village Dolwi, Karawi, Gadab, Khar Karavi, Kharmachela and Jui Bapuji and other surrounding areas, district Raigarh, near Mumbai.
The case set out in the application was that the location of the plant in question adjoins the creek up to village Dolvi. Kharmachela and other villages are covered by mangroves which protect the environment in the area. Similarly, the Dharamtar creek has covered one side of the plant. Even the large area of their plant was covered by the then existing mangroves. The respondent Company has also constructed the coke oven plant by destroying mangroves and construction of coke oven plant is in process. The respondent is also causing expansion of the jetty. The company has not only destructed mangroves on a large scale within their company premises but also destroyed the natural water/creek water/ water channels in their activity, the applicant said.
In October 2005, the Bombay High Court issued various directions for protection of the mangrove forest and mangrove areas were to be identified including from privately owned land and declared/notified as forest. The applicants have informed the court that no mapping of mangroves has been done till date, within their knowledge. An application before the NGT, Pune Bench was filed in September 2015 and in July 2020 the matter was transferred to the Principal Bench.
The Tribunal was of the opinion that an updated status report is needed from an "independent and credible committee" to determine whether any further remedial action is necessary and directed the constitution of a five member Joint Committee. The committee would look into the issues raised by the applicant including compliance of the Water and Air Acts and Hazardous Waste Management Rules, destruction of mangroves and damage to agriculture, if any, status of scientific disposal of solid waste. It may also estimate the extent of environmental damage and the amount of compensation required and restitution plan (in case of non-compliance).