The National Green Tribunal has slapped an interim penalty of Rs. Five crore on NLC India Ltd in connection with a boiler blast at Neyveli Lignite Power Plant in Tamil Nadu in which 13 workers died and 10 were injured on July 1.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that independent verification of facts in the incident is necessary and the industrial unit is liable to pay interim compensation on the principle of ‘Absolute Liability’.
In the order passed on Wednesday, the tribunal said that an interim compensation of Rs 30 lakh be paid to each deceased pending final assessment.
“Apart from compensating the heirs of the deceased, injured have also to be compensated. We determine interim compensation for seven injured have already been in hospital for about a week to be Rs five lakh each”, the bench said. The tribunal said that for those discharged, interim compensation is held to be Rs one lakh each.
“The industrial unit may deposit the amount of Rs five crore with the District Magistrate, Cuddalore, within two weeks to meet claim for compensation as ad hoc arrangement”, it said.
The amount of interim compensation may be disbursed by transfer to the bank accounts of the heirs of the deceased and the injured, the tribunal said.
The NGT also constituted an independent committee comprising of the Central Pollution Control Board, TN pollution control board, District Magistrate, Cuddalore, NEERI and IIT Chennai to visit the site and ascertain facts taking into account the version of the industrial unit and other stake holders.
“The report may be given within three months by email. A copy of the report be uploaded on website of CPCB for comments of any affected party”, the bench said.
Thirteen persons were killed and 10 others injured when a boiler exploded at the NLC India’s thermal plant on July 1. Tamil Nadu pollution control board filed a report mentioning that the industry has seven boiler units to produce electric power of 1470 MW.
The mishap occurred at the fifth unit of the thermal power station-II (210 MW x 7) when workers were in the process of resuming operations on July 1.
It was reported by officials of NLCIL (Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India Ltd) that the cleaning of lignite dust deposition inside the horizontal box girder might had been done with the help of metal scrappers and due to friction, the lignite particles got ignited and due to combustion within the girder, the workers who were inside might have suffered and suffocated.
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