Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding payment of compensation by Afcons Infrastructure and L&T for dumping of muck on the bank of the Arzi nallah, Kishtwar district, Jammu and Kashmir, 29/04/2022

  • 29/04/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Joginder Bhandari Vs Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir dated 29/04/2022. The applications have been filed by Afcons Infrastructure Limited and Larsen & Toubro Limited seeking recall of NGT order, February 17, 2022 (Original Application No. 301/2021, Joginder Bhandari v. Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir), requiring them to pay compensation of Rs. 1 crore each for restoration of the environment on the ‘Polluter Pays’ principle. The payment of compensation was for illegally dumping muck on the bank of the Arzi nallah obstructing its natural course during the construction of Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project, Kishtwar district.

Contention raised in the application for recall is that illegal dumping of muck by the applicants was on account of the project proponent (PP) - M/s Chenab Valley Power Projects (P) LTd. (CVPPL), on whose behalf the applicant was executing the work, not providing suitable place. Further plea is that the muck has now been removed.

The NGT dismissed the application, saying there was no merit in the applications. "It is undisputed that the applicants violated the environmental norms for which fault is attributed to the PP, who is their principal. Once the applicants caused damage and violated environmental norms, they cannot escape liability for such wrongs on restitution principle which is part of ‘Polluter Pays’ principle. Subsequent clearance of waste cannot be a ground for waiving the compensation for damage already caused and violation already committed," the NGT order, April 29, 2022 said.