Kerala (VSK). The National Green Tribunal has directed the Kochi Municipal Corporation to pay environmental compensation of Rs 100 crores for the damage to the environment due its (Corporation’s) failure in solid waste handling. NGT has also observed, the state of Kerala and the authorities concerned are “utter failure” and have “rampantly violated the statutory solid waste management rules and order”. NGT states, the attitude of the authorities in not laying down any accountability for the violations of the environmental rules was “a threat to the rule of law”.
NGT stated this while hearing the matters in connection with the grave fire in the Corporation’s wasteland at Brahmapuram near Kochi. Tribunal had initiated a suo-motu case in view of the environmental emergency caused by aforementioned fire.
NGT said that they are conscious that an identical issue was being dealt with by the Kerala High Court, but they make it clear that this order is without prejudice and subject to the said proceedings. They are also informed, an identical issue was pending before the South Bench of the Tribunal and it may, accordingly, take into account this order before proceeding further with any pending matter. It is stated by a bench of Chairperson Justice A.K. Goel. Bench also comprises of judicial member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A. Senthil Vel.
Tribunal hopes that the matter is remedied at the higher level in the state, such as the Director General of Police and the Chief Secretary. It is to uphold the Constitution and the mandate of environmental law.
Tribunal has considered the monetary liability for the damage to the environment for failing to comply with solid waste management norms and the “long continuing neglect of its duties by the Kochi Municipal Corporation. Accordingly, NGT directed the Corporation to pay an environmental compensation (EC) of Rs 100 crore.
The compensation amount should be deposited with the Chief Secretary of Kerala to fix accountability of the concerned officers for gross failures and initiate action under criminal law as well as by way of departmental proceedings, following due process, and place the same in the public domain within two months.
The above news come as music to the ears of the people of Kerala. Because, they have been feeling some sort of alienation and also orphanhood, because, they are always let down by the governments and the Municipal Corporation pertaining to the burning issues they face 24×7. If the people concerned learn a lesson or two from this NGT order, it will be a bliss for the people.