Rs 5.47 Cr Penalty On Jubilant Life Sciences For Damaging Environment
The National Green Tribunal imposed Rs 5.47 crore penalty on Jubilant Life Sciences distillery unit in Pune for discharging effluents and causing damage to the environment. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the industry has to be held to be non-compliant and liable to pay compensation as assessed by the monitoring committee on sound principles. "Apart from payment of compensation for the damage in the past, the unit needs to take steps for remediation. The steps be taken accordingly within three months and if noncompliance continues, closure may be the only option. Compensation already calculated may be deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board within one month," said the bench, also comprising Justice S P Wangdi.
he tribunal passed the order after perusing a report filed by the monitoring committee formed on February 20, 2019. The committee told the tribunal that the unit continued to violate consent conditions and environmental norms for which compensation of Rs 5,47,50,000 was required to be paid. The report further stated that methodology was required to be worked out for disbursement of compensation to the farmers.
During the site visit, the committee collected groundwater samples from wells and bore well of farmers, a dug well and various piezo wells located in the compost yard within JLS premises. High COD and colour was observed in the groundwater samples collected from wells in the farmlands. Colour and COD represent presence of organic contaminants in groundwater, the committee said in its report. "During the site visit, the committee collected surface water samples from the stretch of Nira river, Buasaheb Nala, Saloba Nala and Nira Sewage. Leachate contamination in Buasaheb Nala and Saloba Nala was evident from the monitoring results. Both sewage and industrial activity contributed to organic contamination in these water samples, however, industrial contamination was clearly evident from the high color values also. Over the stretch of Nira River studied, the quality of water deteriorated from upstream to downstream," the committee told the NGT.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Maharashtra resident Janardan Kundalikrao Pharande and others seeking action for the damage to the environment caused by Jubilant, Nimbut-Nira, in Pune in the course of its distillery unit's activity. The petitioners sought execution of 2014 order of NGT holding that the unit had caused damage to the environment and was liable to take remedial measures and to pay compensation.