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NGT takes suo motu cognisance of collapse of NDMC mine in Kirandul resulting in death of four labours

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) took Suo Motu cognizance of the matter of  collapse of a NMDC mine in Kirandul, Dantewada, Chhattisgarh has resulted in death of four labourers.  

The Petition is registered suo-moto on the basis of the news item appearing in the daily newspaper dated 28.02.2024.

The names of the victims have also been disclosed but the news item does not disclose if the family members of the victims have been paid the compensation.   

The Counsel for the State of Chhattisgarh has informed the Bench that family members of each of the deceased person has been paid Rs. 10 lakhs i.e. Rs. 5 lakhs by the L&T and Rs. 5 lakhs by the NMDC.

The amount which is paid to the family members is not in accordance with the judgment of the Tribunal. Tribunal by order dated 16.01.2023 in the matter of K. Saravanan vs. State of Tamilnadu, had directed that compensation be enhanced to ₹20,00,000/- in respect of each death and ₹10,00,000/- each to the injured.

The news item raises substantial issue relating to the compliance of environmental norms and violation of the provisions of Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 and other Scheduled enactments.   

“Power of the Tribunal to take up the matter in suo-motu exercise of power has been recognized by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of “Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai vs. Ankita Sinha & Ors.” reported in 2021 SCC Online SC 897.”

Hence, the Principal Bench of Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Dr. A Senthil Vel  impleaded the following as respondents in the matter:

(1). Central Pollution Control Board through its Member Secretary. 

(2). Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board, Raipur, through its Member Secretary. 

(3). Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Regional Office, Raipur. 

(4). Collector and District Magistrate, Dantewada. (5). NMDC Limited, Bailadila Iron Ore Mine, Kirandul Complex, Behind BIOP School, Kirandul-494556, District – Dantewada, Chhattisgarh. 

(6). L&T Office, NMDC Works Office Complex, Behind BIOP School, Kirandul-494556, District – Dantewada, Chhattisgarh.     

Since the matter relates to the Central Zonal Bench, Bhopal , therefore, the Bench transferred the matter to the Central Zonal Bench, for appropriate further action. Office is directed by the NGT to transfer the original record to the  Central Zonal Bench  and the matter is listed on 30.05.2024.

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