[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed Grasim Industries Limited to pay interim compensation of Rs 1 crore to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for illegal storage of mercury and damage to public health and the environment in Sonebhadra district in Uttar Pradesh.
Grasim Industries Limited is the flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group.
The NGT was hearing a petition on nervous system disorders and other serious ailments prevailing in Sonebhadra since 2006 because of the discharge of mercury beyond the prescribed limits by Grasim Industries.
A panel headed by Chairperson Justice Ashok Kumar Goel also held that Grasim Industries Limited was liable to pay environmental compensation and constituted a joint committee comprising representative of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, CPCB and the IIT, Kanpur to assess the total environmental compensation within a month.
Grasim Industries had also filed an application before the NGT seeking the non-enforcement of recommendations of a core committee regarding shifting the mercury brine sludge and muck, claiming that the said storage was safe and “covered by the consent given by the UPPCB”.
But the NGT held that the UPPCB did not have the authority to give the consent and therefore that consent could not be set up as an estoppel against statutory provisions. It, therefore, ordered the hazardous waste to be transported to a TSDF set up by the state under the relevant Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 2016.