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Opinion

Rs 800 crore Environment Relief Fund is not used, NGT criticizes Ministry of Environment

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The National Green Court has strongly criticized the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for not using more than 800 million rupees earmarked for the Environmental Relief Fund for accident victims in the process of handling hazardous substances.

A bank headed by Judge Adarsh ​​Kumar Goel, Chairman of NGT, and Judge SK Singh, noted that the Public Liability Insurance Act provides that United India Insurance Company Ltd. will be the fund manager for five years, which will open an account in a nationalized bank and will credit the amount of premium received, as well as the amount awarded by the court.

“It is acknowledged that an amount of Rs 881 crore has been deposited up to March 31, 2020 with the Fund Administrator, United India Insurance Company Ltd., there is no information as to whether any amount has been used.

“It seems to us a sham of justice that even after 29 years of the enactment of laudable welfare legislation and despite the deposit of a large amount destined for victims in need, the amount remains unused to the detriment of victims for whose benefit the law was enacted, ”the bank said.

The NGT said that there is an urgent need to bridge the gaps in the existence and application of this law by all stakeholders. “The MoEF, which is a nodal Ministry, can examine this aspect and take the necessary measures. Industrial chemical accidents result in worker injury and death. “It is necessary to link the liability risk policies that industries must adopt under the PLI Act of 1991 with the conditions of consent under the Water (Pollution Prevention and Control) Act of 1974 and the Air Act (Prevention and Control of Pollution), 1981, as well as the Environmental (Protection) Act of 1986 and the Rules, ”the bank said.

State pollution control boards can ensure that industries required to adopt policies under the PLI Act of 1991 do not obtain consent under the Water and Air Laws and Authorization under the Environmental (Protection) Rules of 1986 until get such a policy, the bank said.

We also request the National Authority of the Legal Service and the State Authorities of the Legal Service, constituted under the Law of the Legal Service Authority of 1987, to help victims of injustice access justice to investigate the matter and take the measures deemed appropriate. in the end, ”the bank said.

The court was hearing a statement made by retired government official Gyan Prakash highlighting the non-utilization of more than Rs. Rs 800 million earmarked for the Environment Relief Fund under the Civil Liability Insurance Act 1991 (PLI Act, 1991) for accident victims in the process of handling hazardous substances.

The statement said that the fund is not being used and that the purpose for which the law was promulgated is not being fulfilled. The victims are suffering from ignorance and even the collectors who must publish information are not doing so, the statement said. PTI PKS RKS RKS

Hindustan Times

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