Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding violation of EC conditions by Hindalco and REL in the working of the open cast mining of Talabira-I Opencast Coalmine of Khinda village, Jharsuguda region, Sambalpur district, Odisha, 08/12/2021
Order of the National Green Tribunal (Special Bench) in the matter of Manbodh Biswal Vs Union of India & Others dated 08/12/2021.
The matter deals with the issue of accountability for violation of Environmental Clearance (EC) conditions by the Project Proponents (PPs) – M/s. Hindalco Industries Limited (Hindalco) and Raipur Energen Limited – REL, after change of name of M/s. GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Limited) in the working of the open cast mining of Talabira-I Opencast Coal mine of Khinda Village, Rengali Tehsil, Jharsuguda Region, Sambalpur District, Orissa.
The NGT order said that liability of Hindalco for breach of EC conditions, November 8, 2011 remains and the REL is also not absolved of compliance with EC conditions. The OB dumps were first created by Hindalco and dumping was done beyond the designated dump sites as found during inspection by the MoEF&CC, primary liability is of Hindalco but once lease was taken over by REL, it remained under an obligation to comply with the EC conditions and to manage the overburden consistent with environmental norms and obligations.
The NGT, December 8, 2021 apportioned the liability between Hindalco and REL in the ratio of 75:25 per cent. Further, compensation for past damage to environment due to the violation and the cost of remediation have to be worked out and restoration plan to be prepared by a six member Expert Committee. Pending further decision, a sum of Rs. 7.5 crores may be deposited by Hindalco and Rs. 2.5 crores by the REL to meet the assessed compensation and cost of remediation, the order said.