NGT asks Adani Port to pay Rs.25 crore in green damages

Ahmedabad: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Adani-Hazira Port and Hazira Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd. in Gujarat to pay Rs.25 crore within four weeks as compensation and for restoration for damage to the environment.

A petition filed by Hazira Machchimaar Samiti (Hazira fishermen’s committee) had challenged an environment clearance (EC) granted to the company by the union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) in 2013 for further expansion of port activities at Hazira in Surat.

The tribunal also instructed the Surat district collector to demolish the construction on over 25 hectares of land. A copy of the NGT order is with IANS.

A division bench of the NGT, comprising Justice V.R. Kingaonkar (judicial member) and Ajay A. Deshpande (expert member), ordered the Adani group to deposit Rs.25 crore with the Surat district collector, which is then to be kept in an escrow account till further directions by the NGT on compensation and restoration.

The tribunal also asked the Adani group to pay litigation cost of Rs.2 lakh to each of the members of the Samiti.

In its petition before the NGT, the Samiti alleged that the EC to Hazira port was not valid and that the construction work was carried out by the company at the site without approval.

According to an agreement signed with the Gujarat Maritime Board in April 2002, the company was supposed to plant mangrove trees on 550 hectares of land but this plantation was not completed.