CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Monday revealed that around one lakh fishermen have been affected following the oil spill on January 28 near Ennore.
The submission was made before the southern bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) which has directed the Director General (Shipping) to take charge and fast track the compensation claims.
The 31-page reply filed by Principal Secretary of Department of Environment and Forest Atulya Misra, said Malini V Shankar, Director General (Shipping), conducted a meeting of all stakeholders on February 6 for assessing the compensation due to loss of livelihood to the fishermen community.
During the meeting, the Commissioner of Fisheries insisted that the insurer should provide forms and make claim procedure simple as fishing activity is very traditional and the community is not educated like their counterparts in developed countries.
Meanwhile, counsel for MT Dawn Kanchipuram told the tribunal that the claim forms have already been submitted. However, the bench, comprising Justice P Jyothimani and expert member PS Rao, directed DG (Shipping) to submit all the documents pertaining to the identification of affected people and with whose assistance the process has been carried out.
The tribunal was hearing four petitions relating to the oil spill. Counsel for one of the petitioners, P Soma Sundaram, argued that India was a signatory to International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992, and could seek compensation from the International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage.
However, to make such a move, the port and the polluter should quantify the spill.
The tribunal has posted the case to March 13 during which an interim order is likely to be passed.