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NGT Charges IOCL’s Panipat Refinery Sum of INR 25 Crore Over Lack Of Performance Towards Clean Environment

Indian Oil Corporation Limited’s Panipat refinery in Haryana has been slammed by a fine of INR 25 Crore by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) with the body alleging that the refinery has been lacking in compliance to environmental norms. NGT is a specialized government body set up under the National Green Tribunal Act (2010) to provide a specialized forum for the quick disposal of cases associated to environment protection, conservation of forests and wildlife and seeking compensation for damages caused to the general public due to the violation of environmental laws. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel found that the PSU is continuously delaying its progress towards restoration of the environment. The body alleged that IOCL has been showing lack of responsibility towards environment and took the charge after receiving a letter by Satpal Singh, the sarpanch of gram panchayat, Singhpura Sithna village, Panipat, who held IOCL’s Panipat Refinery responsible for creating water and air pollution in the surrounding villages which is affecting health of the local residents. NGT had earlier charged a penalty of INR 17.31 crore on the Haryana based refinery for violation of environmental norms. IOCL is being accused of failing to take effective and adequate steps even after long interval available since the last hearing. The tribunal has directed the IOCL to take action on daily basis and strictly comply with all the observations of the joint committee within next six months. IOCL has to deposit the amount to CPCB within one month from yesterday, which would later be spent on making restoration plan towards fixing environment and public health related concerns.