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NGT slaps penalty of Rs 1 crore on Grasim Industries

twitter-logoPTI | July 23, 2019 | Updated 16:03 IST

New Delhi, Jul 23 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has imposed an interim penalty of Rs 1 crore on Grasim Industries Limited for storing huge stock of the mercury, obtained as a by-product, in its premises in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the company to shift the hazardous waste in accordance with the Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 2016. It also formed a joint committee comprising representative of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Central Pollution Control Board and IIT, Kanpur within a month. "Pending such assessment, the applicant (Grasim) may deposit a sum of Rs 1 crore towards the interim compensation with the CPCB to be spend for the restoration of the environment. CPCB will be the nodal agency for the purpose," the bench said. The tribunal passed the order after perusing a report from a panel formed by it which said that a huge stock of the mercury bearing brine sludge/waste which was obtained as a by-product during the course of manufacturing prior to 2012, has been stored in the premises of the company. The panel also suggested suggested a penalty of Rs 1 crore as environment compensation. The NGT said that it is clear that activity of discharge of mercury in the environment by the industry has been found and storage of hazardous waste is illegally continuing for which it is liable to be dealt with as per law. "In view of above, we are of the view that the applicant must forthwith shift the hazardous waste in accordance with the Rules and for the illegal storage as well as damage to the environment on account of contamination, the applicant is liable to pay environmental compensation and be dealt with as per rules," the NGT said. The order came on a plea filed by Grasim seeking review of August 28, 2018 order by which the unit was directed to shift the hazardous waste to the treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. According to the applicant, it generated hazardous waste in the course of its activities of manufacturing caustic soda which was stored in its premises since 2010. Earlier, a core committee set up by the NGT to inspect areas in Singrauli and Sonbhadra districts, where coal mines and thermal plants are operating, had submitted an interim report on the environment and the health of the people. It had submitted that heavy industrial activities in the region were a major source of pollution and the ground water in the villages near Singrauli was contaminated with high fluoride and mercury concentration. PTI PKS PKS SOM SOM

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