The National Green Tribunal today cracked the whip on state-run National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) for causing air pollution and environmental degradation while carrying out redevelopment of East Kidwai Nagar in southwest Delhi.
The green panel slammed NBCC and its officers for release of pollutants into ambient air while carrying out construction work and causing “nuisance” on the roads in the sensitive area where two biggest hospitals — All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Safdarjung hospital are located.
“It is evident that NBCC and its officers have failed to take appropriate precautionary measures and steps, thus, violating the ‘Precautionary Principle’. Further, they have committed repeated violation and defaults of the orders of the Tribunal, thus, rendering themselves liable for payment of environmental compensation in terms of Section 15 and 16 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 on the principle of ‘Polluter Pays’.
“NBCC is held liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs 10 lakhs for the persistent defaults and violations of the rules and directions issued by the Tribunal,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said while directing the company to deposit the amount within two weeks.
The tribunal made it clear that the amount would be paid to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee which shall use it for restoration of environment in the adjoining areas.
“It is expected of such a company to maintain higher standards of social corporate responsibility rather than be instrumental in causing air pollution and health hazards
“NBCC is hereby warned that in the event of any default in future, the Tribunal would be compelled to direct penal action against the company and its officers responsible for its business in terms of the provisions of the NGT Act, 2010, besides other actions in accordance with law,” the bench said.
The directions came while hearing a plea by South Delhi resident K S Gahunia who has alleged that NBCC, the project proponent, in the garb of redevelopment is destroying roads and “illegally” erecting barricades on the roads.