NGT orders Kochi Corporation to pay Rs 100 cr as environmental compensation for Brahmapuram fire

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Brahmapuram waste treatment plant | Photo: Mathrubhumi

New Delhi: In a major setback to the state government and the Kochi corporation, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered the local body to pay of Rs 100 crore as environmental compensation in the recent fire incident at Brahmapuram waste treatment plant.

The tribunal ordered the Kochi corporation to pay the amount within a month. The tribunal has also sought action against those responsible for the mishap. It added that the NGT is not a mute spectator.

The funds, to be paid to the state chief secretary, must be allocated towards fire-related projects.

The fire that started on March 2 lasted at least till March 13. It had caused breathing troubles for the Kochi natives.

NGT and state tribunal had given directives in handling waste in the plant earlier also. The NGT had said that the state government bears responsibility for the fire incident.

During the hearing of a related petition, Justice (Rtd) AK Goel, the tribunal chairman, emphasised on Friday that the state government holds complete responsibility for the fire at the waste dumping site. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) cautioned the state government that they may face a hefty fine of up to Rs 500 crore if deemed necessary. The NGT initiated a suo motu case on the matter.

The government argued that the High Court had already initiated a suo motu case on the same issue, making the involvement of the NGT unnecessary, but the bench disagreed. However, the NGT clarified that it would not issue orders that contradict those of the High Court. State government had submitted a report on the Brahmapuram fire incident.

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