NGT slaps Rs.50 lakh fine on ECoR
BHUBANESWAR: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of `50 lakh on East Coast Railway (ECoR) for operating a railway siding without consent of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) at Jakhapura railway station in Jajpur district. The NGT has imposed the fine on the ECoR as environmental compensation for five years for operation of the railway siding by violating norms.
Hearing a petition, the Kolkata bench of NGT asked the ECoR on Wednesday to deposit the fine amount at the Jajpur Collectorate within two months.
The tribunal has asked the Jajpur Collector to utilise `25 lakh to be paid by ECoR for infrastructure development of primary health centre (PHC) at Jakhapura towards cost of building, laboratory and instruments. The remaining amount will be used for improving the environment in and around the railway siding, sanitation and supply of drinking water in the affected villages.
The NGT maintained that the railway siding will be remained closed till the consent given by the OSPCB. The tribunal directed the Chief Secretary to constitute a committee to inquire into the action of the then chairman and member secretary of the OSPCB who had allowed the railway siding at Jakhapura to operate without consent of the Board. Besides, the green panel asked the Chief Secretary to take action against the then Jajpur Collector for intervening in the functioning of the OSPCB.
The regional officer of the OSPCB had stopped loading and unloading activities at the railway siding on March 4, 2015 as it was running without a consent letter from the Board. However, the then Collector of Jajpur had asked the regional officer in a letter on March 16, 2015 to allow loading and unloading operation of minerals at the railway siding for the time being since conducting of Palli Sabha and Gram Sabha by the Danagadi Block Development Officer (BDO) was under process.
Besides, the tribunal ordered the ECoR to pay `one lakh to the petitioner Ashwini Kumar Dhal towards legal expenses.
Tribunal has asked the Jajpur Collector to utilise J25 lakh for infra development of PHC at Jakhapura
Remaining amount will be used for improving environment in and around railway siding
Green panel asked the Chief Secretary to take action against the then Jajpur Collector for intervening in functioning of OSPCB