The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of Rs 186 crore on 100 industrial units polluting water in the Palghar district of Maharashtra. The green court has also imposed fines on regional regulatory bodies. The NGT has also slammed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for not taking appropriate action.
While delivering its verdict on January 24, the NGT imposed the fine on the industrial units located in Tarapur MIDC. The units have been directed to deposit Rs 186 crore within three months. It has been said that this amount will be used under the supervision of a committee to fix the regional environment and improve the health of the people. The case pertains to the Palghar district adjoining Mumbai and Thane.
A local organisation called Akhil Bharatiya Mangela Samaj Parishad and its office bearers had filed a complaint against about 100 industrial units. The people say that their livelihood depends on fish farming and the industrial units dump their waste in the neighbouring Arabian Sea and sea bays. Due to this, their livelihood and health are getting affected badly.
In addition, the NGT has imposed a fine of Rs 2 crore on Tarapur MIDC and Rs 91.79 crore on Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), the regulatory body responsible for pollution control. The NGT has questioned the ED in this matter and said in its decision that the directorate is not fully exercising its powers over units or entities causing pollution in the country. In the last eight and a half years, the ED, which was given powers in 2012 to act against such entities, has not taken action in a single case, the court said.
The industrial units of the Tarapur MIDC area on which the NGT has imposed this fine are spread over 15 villages of the Tarapur area of Palghar district. The total population of these villages as per the 2011 census is 1,03,208.