LG Polymers Asked To Deposit Rs 50 crores, NGT Sets Up Fact-Finding Panel

by Sidharth Pandey 3 years ago Views 1810

Taking suo motu cognizance of the industrial accident in Vishakhapatnam which claimed 11 lives and left over 1,000 hospitalised when industrial gas escaped from a factory manufacturing plastics, the National Green Tribunal in Delhi has issued notices to the Andhra Pradesh government, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the State Pollution Control Board. Notice has also been issued to LG polymers India private limited, the company which owns the plant.

Noting that ‘leakage of hazardous gas at such a scale adversely affecting public health and environment, clearly attracts the principle of ‘Strict Liability’ against the enterprise engaged in hazardous or inherently dangerous industry', the National Green Tribunal has also asked the company to deposit an initial 50 crore rupees with the District Magistrate towards the extent of damage caused.The NGT has said in its order that ‘such an entity is liable to restore the damage caused under the Environment Law, apart from other statutory liability.’

Noting that a ‘substantial question of environment’ has to be gone into, the NGT has also set up a committee comprising Justice B. Seshasayana Reddy, former Judge, A.P. High Court, Prof. Ch V Rama Chandra Murthy, former Vice Chancellor, Andhra University as also technical experts and members from CPCB & NEERI.

The committee has been tasked with establishing the sequence of events, cause of failure and persons responsible, extent of damage to human and non human life, public health and the environment. The committee has also been tasked to suggest steps for compensation to victims and restitution of damaged property. Noting that an immediate visit may be difficult due to possible contamination and the COVID-19 restrictions, the committee has been asked to visit the site at the earliest and give its report to the NGT.

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