Irked over a reply not being filed in a case, the National Green Tribunal has issued an ultimatum to Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to file its reply on the next hearing, lest it be slapped with Rs. 1 lakh as costs.

Following applications by Mayflower Sakthi Garden Owners’ Association, the Bench last April had granted an interim injunction restraining the Coimbatore Corporation from proceeding with the construction or other activities of a proposed Open Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in Uppilipalayam village, Nanjundapuram, which is situated within the immediate vicinity of a residential colony.

The authorities of state filed their replies to the case while the MoEF has not filed so far. The matter is pending before the Tribunal since April.

When the matter came up for hearing before the Bench comprising, its judicial member Justice P.Jyothimani and expert member Prof. R. Nagendran, appeared for the MoEF and sought more time for filing reply statement.

More time

Granting further time, the Bench noted that despite giving time to file reply in many occasions, it was not yet filed.

They said: “To give one more chance, the matter stands adjourned to August 13 finally. It is made clear that if such a reply is not filed on or before, the MoEF is liable to pay costs of Rs.1 lakh.”

The Bench said that on receiving such fund, the Secretary, State Forest Department, was directed to create a fund under the name of Environmental Protection Fund which would be maintained by the Director of Environment along with the Member Secretary, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the president of NGT Bar Association.

The fund would be used as per directions of the Tribunal.