NGT dismisses Karnataka’s plea to modify earlier levied fine of Rs 500 cr

PTI, Dec 4, 2022, 8:08 AM IST

Image credit: PTI / File

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has dismissed an application filed by Karnataka seeking modification of the tribunal’s earlier order to pay Rs 500 crore for its failure to prevent and remedy the environmental damage to Chandapura lake.

The lake in Anekal taluk is located around 25 km from Bengaluru.

A bench comprising Chairperson Justice A K Goel said the state is taking liberty in fixing its own timelines in violation of those fixed by the Supreme Court and ”violating law with impunity”.

According to the application, as the state authorities would require three-four years for taking remedial measures, there was no justification for depositing Rs 500 crore immediately.

”We do not find any merit in the application,” the bench also comprising judicial member Justice Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A Senthil Vel said, adding there was a ”massive failure” of state authorities.

”The compensation amount which has been fixed is for the violations which have already taken place… For further delay, the compensation liability may have to be fixed separately and the plea is patently untenable,” the bench said.

Liability for compensation has already accrued, which is in addition to continuing financial liability for future violations, the bench added.

In its earlier order passed in October, the green panel had imposed the fine and directed the authorities concerned to deposit the amount within a month.

While passing the order, the tribunal noted that the environmental violations included illegal encroachments in the buffer zone and unregulated discharge of pollution by the industries in the adjoining industrial area and Jigani, Hebbagodi and Bommasandra municipalities.

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