NGT levies ₹1 crore penalty for excess quarrying near Vandalur zoo

As per a report filed by the Chengalpattu collector, a committee formed by NGT found that the lessee had only two valid leases, but had encroached and indulged in illegal quarrying in adjacent poromboke land

Updated - March 18, 2023 07:52 am IST

Published - March 17, 2023 07:22 pm IST - CHENNAI

The NGT said if the protected areas were within 10 km of the project site, the National Board for Wildlife’s approval is a must. File photo

The NGT said if the protected areas were within 10 km of the project site, the National Board for Wildlife’s approval is a must. File photo

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has levied a fine of ₹1.02 crore on a lease holder towards environmental compensation for excessive quarrying near the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur.

The fine was imposed on U.G.C. Aravind, a lessee, after it was alleged that environmental clearance was obtained for quarrying despite the presence of reserve forests and waterbodies at a distance of 3 km from the project area.

Subsequently, the tribunal constituted a committee comprising the Chengalpattu district collector, a senior official of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), an officer from the Directorate of Geology and Mining, and a Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) official.

As per the report filed by the Chengalpattu collector, the committee had found that the lessee had only two valid leases, had encroached and indulged in illegal quarrying in adjacent poromboke land, and quarried 79,127 cbm of gravel and 1,61,012 cbm of rough stone from the leasehold area without payment of seigniorage fee and without obtaining despatch slips.

The NGT, in its order, said the Geology and Mining Department and the Revenue Department should be responsible for the same as they failed to monitor either the excess quarrying or excess transportation unauthorisedly. The tribunal said if the protected areas were within 10 km of the project site, approval must be obtained from the National Board for Wildlife before seeking environmental clearance.

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