NGT Directs JSPL To Pay Rs 2 Cr Penalty For Filling Up Kurdabahali Nalla in Odisha’s Angul

Bhubaneswar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a penalty of Rs 2 crore on Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) for carrying out construction on Kurdabahali Nalla in Angul district.

The NGT, eastern zone bench, Kolkata, issued the order on Friday after hearing a petition filed by Alekha Chandra Tripathy against JSPL and Odisha government and replies of the respondents.

The Tribunal, in its order, said JSPL has interfered with Nature by changing the natural course of Kurdabahali Nalla which cannot be restored now. Since the company has filled up the original Nalla with earth and constructed its industrial complex thereon at a time when it had not received sanction from the Odisha government for diversion of the Nalla through an alternative diversion into the Parang
Minor Irrigation Project, it is directed to pay a penalty of Rs 2 crore, the Tribunal stated in its judgment.

The Tribunal directed that out of Rs 2 crore, Rs 1.5 crore will be deposited with the Forest department of Odisha government and Rs 50 lakh with the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB).

The Forest department will utilise the amount for increasing the green cover in the area along the banks of the Nalla and in available vacant areas. The OSPCB will be responsible for continuous monitoring of the water quality of the Nalla as well as in the Parang Minor Irrigation Project, the Tribunal said.

The NGT also directed the state government to take appropriate disciplinary action against the officers who were directly/indirectly involved in the process of gross violation of environmental laws and file an action taken report in this regard within six months.

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