Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding pollution by discharge of pollutants by petrochemical industries, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 11/06/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Meenavargal Membattu Sangam Vs The Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, Chennai and Others dated 11/06/2020 regarding discharge of pollutants into the sea by M/s. Manali Petrochemical Limited, M/s Kothari Petrochemical Ltd. and M/s. Tamil Nadu Petrochemical Limited.

The NGT in its order of February 8, 2020 had directed for the constitution of a joint committee to inspect the units in question and find out the present status of the functioning of the units and ascertain as to whether they are maintaining and managing all pollution control mechanism and whether the discharge of effluent from these industries to sea confirms with the specified norms prescribed by the PCB and the impact of effluents in the sea water and if there is any deficiency found and the sea water quality has not improved, then suggest the remedial measures by which the quality of sea water can be improved and who has to carry out these remedial measures and also assess the environmental compensation against the defaulting units who are responsible for polluting sea water by applying “Polluters Pay” principle and submit a report to the Tribunal within a period of three months.

The joint committee had submitted an interim report on May 18, 2020. Sea samples were collected by National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) team along with committee during industries sampling, covering 1 km wide and 2 km long stretch along the Ennore coast to include the near field and far field area of outfall. Additionally samples were collected at the mouth of ennore creek, to know any pollution impact on sea through this creek. Total 48 nos. of samples were collected and also 14 nos. of sediment samples were collected from the bottom of sea to know the impact due to discharge.

But due to COVID 19 lock down analysis report from the laboratories of M/s Glens, Chennai and NIOT yet to receive. In view of the above fact, the committee requested the Tribunal further two month time to submit the final report considering the present pandemic situation.

Under these circumstances, the NGT grants two months time to the committee to submit the report along with the remediation measures.