New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought action against a private quarry operator over alleged environmental violation in the Thampuran Para mountains in Thiruvananthapuram district in Kerala.
The NGT principal bench headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel was dealing with a plea against VKL Infrastructure Facilities and VKL Projects.
Earlier in February, the green court had directed a three-member committee headed by the District Magistrate to inspect the mountain area which prohibited any type of mining and allied activities within its 200-meter radius.
In the latest order, the tribunal noted that “no response has been filed by the Project Proponent in response to the (committee’s) report which presumably has been served on it in view of directions of this Tribunal quoted earlier. We do not see any reason not to accept the report of the Joint Committee comprising credible senior functionaries representing statutory regulators. Accordingly, the report is accepted and action may be taken in terms of findings and recommendations..”
Further, the tribunal directed the state pollution control board to assess and recover compensation on the ‘Polluter Pays’ principle within three months, following due process of law.
“…The amount recovered may be utilised for the restoration of the environment by preparing an action plan..,” it added.
As per the plea, the quarry activities were done on government land. Though surveying was done, no final decision was seen taken on this by the Revenue Department, it alleged.
Further, it pointed out that there are houses down the slope. The aerial distances to these houses were not considered while granting environmental clearance and allied permits. Fly rocks are a problem to these houses, the plea said.
There is no linkage of the project with the KOMPAS Portal of the Mining and Geology Department. It is also stated that the environmental clearance was erroneously granted by bifurcating one plot into two, the plea stated.