Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding remedial measures adopted by Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Udaipur, 14/11/2022

  • 14/11/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Om Pur Vs Hindustan Zinc Ltd. & Others dated 14/11/2022.

The application was filed by the Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Udaipur for review of NGT order, February 2, 2022 (O.A. No. 226/2020, Om Puri vs. Hindustan Zinc Ltd. & Ors. and connected matters).

By the said order, the Tribunal considered the grievance of violation of environmental norms by Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Udaipur, Rajasthan in executing mining lease of Lead, Zinc and associated minerals at villages Agucha, Rampura, tehsil Hurd, district Bhilwada, Rajasthan covering nearly an area about 1200 hectares of mining land.

Grievances considered was that heavy blasting and underground mining operations result in contamination of the source of drinking water. Live stocks are also affected. Dust and stones get accumulated close to the agricultural land and houses of the inhabitants. Toxic and contaminated waste water is discharged from the mines.

The joint committee report said that there is damage to the wells, pits, loss to agriculture produce, livestock, contamination of ground water and land degradation.

Accordingly, the NGT directed the project proponent to deposit a sum of Rs. Rs. 25 crores for remediation measures. A restoration plan was directed to be prepared by the joint Committee for remediating soil and quality of ground water and undertaking health improvement programmes.

A Review Application was filed by the PP mentioning the activities undertaken by the PP prior to and after passing of order of the NGT, February 2, 2022.

The counsel for the project proponent, Hindustan Zinc submitted that since the PP has made the necessary deposit and is willing to execute the remediation plan instead of the amount being treated as compensation, it may be treated as CSR activity.

NGT while allowing the prayer directed that in the course of execution of the action plan, micro watershed management plan for protection of ground water and soil quality and health cards for the households may be duly focused. Further, for proper monitoring and evaluation, independent third-party validation of remedial measures may be obtained by the PP through a credible agency and its reports placed on the website of the PP on six monthly basis till completion of restoration measures.