The National Green Tribunal has fined four units of Dhampur Sugar Mills Ltd in Uttar Pradesh of Rs 20 crore for continuing violations of environmental laws. A bench led by NGT chairman Judge Adarsh Kumar Goel said reading the various inspection reports filed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) clearly reveals that there has been damage to the environment for a considerable time.
The NGT imposed environmental compensation of Rs 5 crore each on Dhampur Sugar Mills, Sambhal district; Dhampur sugar mills, Bijnor district; Dhampur Distillery Unit, District Bijnor and Dhampur Sugar Mills, Meerganj, District Bareilly, and ordered them to pay the amount within 30 days from September 1, 2021.
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Shares of Dhampur Sugar Mills today closed at Rs 304.70 on the NSE on Monday, down nearly 2.7% from the last closing price on Friday.
The court said that one thing became very clear, that the four units continuously violated environmental laws and showed indifference and non-concern towards the harmful effects of pollution on the environment.
These units effectively deprived other people and locals of their right to live in an unpolluted environment, the judiciary said.
The NGT said there should be a fair balance between protecting the environment and development activities that are essential for progress.
There is no doubt that society must prosper, but it must not come at the expense of the environment.
The environment must be protected, but not at the expense of the development of society. Development and the environment must coexist and go hand in hand, he said.
The tribunal also set up a committee made up of members of the CPCB (to be appointed by the president), one of the UPPCB and the district magistrates concerned to carry out a detailed study on the extent of the damage caused to the environment.
The committee will also interact with farmers and local residents who may have suffered loss / damage due to pollution from the units, he said.
“We also impose a litigation fee of Rs 10 lakh which will be paid by Respondents Nos. 1 to 3 (Dhampur Sugar Mills Ltd) to CPCB within one month and said amount will be used for the protection and preservation of the environment, “NGT said in its recent ordinance.
The court heard a plea filed by Adil Ansari requesting criminal action against the units of Dhampur Sugar Mills Ltd, including the imposition of appropriate environmental compensation for failure to comply with environmental standards / laws.