Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding damage to soil and crops in the vicinity of Ambuja Cements, Howrah, West Bengal, 11/04/2022
Order of the National Green Tribunal (Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata) in the matter of Basudeb Bar & Others Vs West Bengal Pollution Control Board & Others dated 11/04/2022.
The matter related to damage to soil and crops in the vicinity of the Ambuja Cements Limited, Howrah, West Bengal. A committee was entrusted to look into the matter and file an action taken report. The court noted that the inspection report, January 31, 2022 mentioned that a proper assessment of the health and agricultural impact should be done by an expert in the field of health and agriculture. However, the District Magistrate, Howrah and a member of the committee did not make arrangements to get the services of a scientist from the Agricultural Department.
The NGT, April 11, 2022 directed the committee to assess the damage caused to soil and crops in the vicinity of the cement plant and impose penalty accordingly. The inspection report mentions "“contributory factors for high Particulate Matter (PM) in the ambient air which is suggested to be due to presence of Truck Terminal adjacent to the Administrative Building of the Unit and also due to the proximity of NH-6 and resultant vehicular pollution," and therefore the committee is directed to re-evaluate the ambient air quality to determine the contribution of the cement plant.