NGT junks pleas by Afcons Infrastructure, L&T to recall Rs 2 cr fine for green violation

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal(NGT) has dismissed applications filed by Afcons Infrastructure Limited and Larsen & Toubro Limited seeking recall of its earlier order requiring them to pay environmental compensation of Rs 1 crore each.
 
NGT junks pleas by Afcons Infrastructure, L&T to recall Rs 2 cr fine for green violation

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal(NGT) has dismissed applications filed by Afcons Infrastructure Limited and Larsen & Toubro Limited seeking recall of its earlier order requiring them to pay environmental compensation of Rs 1 crore each.

The companies were arguing that the green violation-- illegal dumping of muck near a drain in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir--was on account of the project proponent Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) Ltd. (CVPPL), on whose behalf they were executing the work, not providing suitable place.

However, the NGT said: "It is undisputed that the applicants violated the environmental norms for which fault is attributed to the Project Proponent, who is their principal. Once the applicants caused damage and violated environmental norms, they cannot escape liability for such wrong on restitution principle which is part of 'Polluter Pays' principle."

"Subsequent clearance of waste cannot be a ground for waiving the compensation for damage already caused and violation already committed. Even though for such violation, on 'Polluter Pays' principle, deterrent compensation is liable to be paid having regard to the financial capacity of the polluter, the Tribunal has adopted the extremely conservative approach of requiring compensation of Rs 1 crore each only. The application now filed is utterly without any merit. We are inclined to award heavy cost for such uncalled for application but are persuaded by learned counsel for the applicant not to do so by expressing regret," read the order dated April 29.

Further, recording disapproval about the conduct of the applicants, the green court dismissed the applications.

On January 10, an NGT-assigned Committee headed by a former Judge of the J&K High Court had found that the projects of the companies at Kishtwar of Jammu and Kashmir had illegally dumped muck on the bank of a drain obstructing its natural course.

It was observed that AFCONS- JAL JV has developed an area on the right bank of Arzi Nallah for setting up of batching plant and office while L&T Ltd. is also developing the area for the platform on the right bank of Arzi Nallah.

--IANS

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