CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to fill up the vacancy to the post of chairman to the Loss of Ecology (Prevention and Payment of Compensation) Authority, Tamil Nadu, within a month.
The first bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan gave a direction to this effect, while disposing of a public interest writ petition from KM Santhanagopalan of Karur, on December 3 last.
The PIL sought to quash an order and an award passed by the Loss of Ecology Authority in Chennai on December 17.
According to the petitioner, he was badly affected by the ecological pollution caused to Noyyal river on account of trade effluents discharged by dyeing and bleaching units in and around Tirupur. By an order dated December 31, 2011, the State government agreed to pay compensation to the affected families. But this order was quashed and the matter is pending before the Supreme Court, the bench was told.
The bench was also told that as many as 28,000 claims for compensation were pending before the State Unit of the Loss Ecology Authority. But the post of chairman was lying vacant for quite some time.
The bench directed the Union government to fill up the post within a month and provide necessary facilities to make it fully functional so that it can forthwith proceed with the task of determining the compensation. The chairman should make every endeavour to hold day-to-day sittings to facilitate disposal of all the claims and provide succor to the affected persons, who were waiting for the relief for 18 years, the bench added.