The Principal Bench of National Green Tribunal has directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), to assess the value of the damage caused to the environment and public health in villages, Mahul and Ambapada situated on outskirts of Mumbai, by Oil and Logistic Companies, operating nearby and recover monetary amount from them.
The bench headed by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said
"We make it clear that CPCB must refer to the earlier reports and database and consider the observations in the orders of the Supreme Court and assess the value of the damage to the environment and public health and the proportion in which the amount is required to be recovered from the identified contributors to the pollution."
The CPCB is told to take help of expert professionals/institutions to assess the same.
The bench gave the direction while hearing an execution application made by Charudatta Kohli, seeking compliance of the order passed by the tribunal in 2015. As per the order the major contributor to the air pollution are said to be the logistic services, storing oil, gas and chemical items, as well as oil companies releasing emissions. The two emissions include Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) on account of loading, storage and unloading operations of hazardous chemicals at various stages.
The order had also recorded that there was deterioration of ambient air quality causing a threat to the health of the residents. Probable sources are activities of respondents ---M/s Sea Lord Containers Limited, Aegis Logistics Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, besides other unidentified sources.
The bench has further directed BPCL and HPCL to deposit Rs 2.5 crore each with the CPCB for the restoration of the environment as per a previous, Supreme Court order.
The bench also directed the parties to furnish their respective viewpoint to the CPCB on or before July 31. The parties will be allowed to peruse the viewpoint of each other, including the documents already submitted on August 14. The CPCB will be at liberty to take the help of such experts as may be considered necessary and may file its report before the tribunal by October 31.