SC stays NGT order imposing Rs 24 lakh penalty on Odisha's Kendrapara municipality for polluting Gobari river
A bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna issued notices to the Centre, Odisha government and others while seeking their replies to the plea
The Supreme Court has stayed an order of the National Green Tribunal imposing a penalty of Rs 24 lakh on Odisha's Kendrapara municipality for failing to control the discharge of wastewater into the Gobari river.
A bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna issued notices to the Centre, Odisha government and others while seeking their replies to the plea.
"Issue notice. There will be a stay of the impugned order dated July 13, 2022 passed by the National Green Tribunal, Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata till the next date of hearing," the bench said.
The top court has posted the matter for hearing in the third week of February, 2023.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Kendrapara municipality against the July 13 order of the NGT which had directed the Executive Officer of the municipal body to pay environmental compensation.
The tribunal had found an "alarming situation" with regard to water quality in the river and said that a high level of pollutants and sewage are allowed to flow into the water body.
"So far as the past violations are concerned, the committee (formed by NGT) in its inspection report has determined compensation from April 1, 2020 till March 31, 2022 to be Rs 24 lakh. We, therefore, direct the Kendrapara Municipality to deposit said amount with the State Pollution Control Board, Odisha within one month," the NGT had said.
The green panel had passed the order on a plea filed by Rabeya Tabbasum alleging contamination of the river due to discharge of untreated waste.
Tabbasum alleged that the Kendrapara municipality is dumping municipal solid waste in the Gobari river, also known as 'Madhusagar', at places like Hajaribagicha, Khadianga, Jayapura, Sunaelo, Ekarakhandi, Naya Idgah etc.