Brahmapuram: Corporation fined another Rs 30 crore; total penalty over Rs 130 crore
KSPCB chairman Pradeep Kumar A B said a directive has been received from CPCB to fine Kochi corporation another Rs 30 crore.
Published: 30th March 2023 07:07 AM | Last Updated: 30th March 2023 07:07 AM | A+A A-
KOCHI: Times are getting tough for Kochi corporation. Besides facing criticism over its failure in containing the fire at the Brahmapuram dumpsite, the civic body is also being fined crores over the environmental hazards the fire posed.
The latest is the Rs 30-crore fine slapped by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The CPCB has sought the amount as environmental compensation for the Brahmapuram incident.
KSPCB chairman Pradeep Kumar A B said a directive has been received from CPCB to fine Kochi corporation another Rs 30 crore. “The directive has been issued under Section 5 of CPCB rules. The KSPCB chairman has been tasked with sending the notice to the civic body,” he said.
Already, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has fined the corporation Rs 100 crore following the fire. Making matters worse, the stays that the corporation had obtained on various fines have been vacated.
These include a Rs 1 crore fine imposed by NGT under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, Rs 3 crore imposed by the KSPCB in 2018 (both when Soumini Jain was the mayor) and another Rs 1.4 crore fine slapped by KSPCB following the recent fire.
In the offing is another Rs 10-crore fine that would KSPCB would impose, on NGT’s directive, on local bodies around Vembanad Lake for not taking steps to control the pollution of the water body. “In effect, the corporation will have to pay more than Rs 130 crore as a fine,” Pradeep said. Sources in KSPCB said the corporation might approach the review panel of the NGT or move Supreme Court seeking a stay on the fines.
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Kochi corporation pins hope on govt dues to pay fines
Asked about the corporation’s plan, Mayor M Anilkumar said a decision would be taken after discussions with the legal team and the state government on the fines imposed by the KSPCB. “The corporation is not in a position to pay the fines without the government’s support,” he said.
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The corporation’s budget speech for 2023-24 mentioned that the government owes the corporation Rs 100 crore for the pension funds it disbursed on the government’s behalf. The government also has to provide Rs 90 crore to the corporation under GST compensation. “Receiving the dues would help the corporation pay hefty fines imposed by PCB,” said a source.