NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh on a real estate developer here after it was found that the rain water harvesting system in its property was not functional.
The green panel made it clear that the penalty imposed on the firm was for causing environmental degradation “till this day and the question of payment for the subsequent period will be considered later.”
“On the facts, it is clear that M/s ABW Infra Ltd. …has caused environmental degradation…The rain water harvesting system is not made operative till day and in fact permission for installation of rain water harvesting system was also not obtained, except there is a technical approval of the design.
“In such circumstances, we apply the Polluter Pays Principle and direct M/s ABW Infrastructure Ltd to pay an environmental compensation of Rs 5 lakhs,” a bench headed by Justice M S Nambiar said.
The tribunal directed the company to pay the amount to Delhi Pollution Control Committee within three weeks and said an inspection would be carried out by Delhi Jal Board (DJB) at the property in South Delhi to find out the suitability of the site chosen by the firm for construction of the harvesting system.
“It is made clear that if the DJB on inspection finds that the site is not suitable for the proposed rain water harvesting system or the structure as such cannot be permitted as not according to the design approved, there need not be a joint inspection,” the bench said.
Taking several hospitals, malls and hotels here to task for not complying with its orders on rain water harvesting, the NGT had last year imposed fines and issued warrants to many of them for not installing these systems.
The green panel was hearing a plea by environmentalist Vikrant Kumar Tongad who had sought directions to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to “install proper rain water harvesting system” on all its existing, proposed and under-construction metro stations, tracks and depots.
The green panel, however, had widened the ambit of the petition and incorporated various other institutions like hospitals, hotels and malls.
Credits ET Realty