Enercon (India) Ltd. directed to pay fifty lakhs for damage caused by setting up of wind mills in Ananthapur

National Green Tribunal (NGT): NGT has directed Enercon (India) Ltd. to pay
Rs. 50 Lakhs for causing damage and degradation to the ecology and environment
by setting up wind mills in Kallpavalli area of Ananthapur District in Andhra
Pradesh. Said amount would be paid as environmental compensation with the
Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board, which shall be used for restoration of
ecology and environment of the area. The direction of NGT came on an
application filed by three societies working for environment protection and
regeneration. It was alleged in the application that windmills project was
causing irreversible long term ecological damage in the area. The adverse
environmental impacts of setting up of cluster of wind mills as claimed by the
applicants include increase the overall temperature of the area, destruction
the grass, cutting of large number of trees, death of cattles after eating plastic
and metal debris spread all over the area, etc. The applicants sought
directions by the Tribunal including setting up of an expert committee to
understand the actual threat which these windmills pose on the environment and
human health; restoration of all the water bodies in the region, which had
suffered in the hands of pollution and excavation caused during the
construction and setting up of these windmills; inclusion of windmill farms in
Category A of the schedule of the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification,
2006; and compensation for losses suffered. After perusing the material
produced and the evidence on record, NGT observed that while setting up the
wind mills, Enercon (India)
Ltd. had constructed roads and, “while constructing the road, extensive damage
was caused to the topography, the surrounding areas, ecology and environment.
Respondent No. 5 [Enercon (India)
Ltd.]  is, therefore, bound to compensate
the damage and degradation caused to the ecology and environment. We,
therefore, direct Respondent No. 5 to pay an environmental compensation of
Rupees Fifty Lakhs.” The Tribunal further directed that trees of local
indigenous species to be planted under guidance of State Forest Department on
the constructed road and also on hill top around wind turbines, which shall be
maintained as a green area and also directed that plastic, must be disposed
properly. [Kallpavalli Vrikha Pempakamdarula Paraspara Sahayaka Sahakara Sangam
Ltd. v. Union of India, decided on August 25, 2015]
Source: Legal news India

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