Singrauli: Fly ash dyke breach incident, National Green Tribunal increases compensation for kin of deceased to Rs 15 lakh

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel directed that the remaining amount be paid within a month.

PTIUpdated: Sunday, January 23, 2022, 03:27 PM IST
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New Delhi/Singrauli (Madhya Pradesh): The National Green Tribunal has increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh the compensation for the families of those who died in the fly ash dyke breach incident in Singrauli.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel directed that the remaining amount be paid within a month.

The breach took place in the fly ash dyke of Reliance's Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project in Singrauli on April 10, 2020.

"We direct the remaining amount to be paid within one month. This order will not debar the heirs of the victims to claim higher compensation by approaching the appropriate forum. If the salaries to persons appointed as compensation to the victims are below minimum wages, the PP may ensure compliance of law on the subject which may be also looked into by the concerned Labour Departments of UP and MP," the bench said.

The statutory regulators may take further remedial action in terms of recommendations of the committee (formed by NGT) for the restoration of the environment and preventing such incidents, the tribunal said.

It also ordered the constitution of a fly ash management and utilisation mission that will be jointly headed by the secretaries of ministries of environment and forest, coal, and power, and chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

"The Secretary, MoEF will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance. The Mission will coordinate and monitor issues relating to handling and disposal of fly ash as well as all associated issues in the light of above discussion. It may hold its first meeting within one month to take stock of the situation and to prepare an action plan," the bench said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey seeking closure and cancellation of the environmental clearance of the power project for deliberately throwing industrial waste in the Rihand reservoir.

It termed the fly ash dyke breach incident a "negligent act" by the unit.

The plea claimed that due to the breach, fly ash spread all over agricultural land and allegedly resulted in the death of six innocent villagers (including three children) and cattle were swept away with the ash slurry in the Rihand reservoir.

Dubey alleged that the breach has led to excessive fluoride concentration in the water, causing tumours and other health hazards to the residents in the vicinity. District officials had said the sludge had affected crops spread over an area of 25 acres.

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