Boiler blast in TN: SC refuses to entertain plea challenging NGT order

·2-min read

New Delhi, Oct 28 (PTI) The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to entertain a plea against an NGT order imposing an interim penalty of Rs five crore on NLC India Ltd in connection with a boiler blast at Neyveli Lignite Power Plant in Tamil Nadu in which 13 workers died and 10 were injured on July 1.

A three-judge bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi asked the petitioner to approach the high court in the matter.

The petitioner then withdrew the plea with liberty to approach the high court.

The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by Meenava Thantai K R Selvaraj Kumar Meenvar Nala Sangam against the order of the National Green Tribunal slapping an interim penalty of Rs five crore on NLC India Ltd in connection with a boiler blast at Neyveli Lignite Power Plant.

The tribunal had said independent verification of facts in the incident is necessary and the industrial unit is liable to pay interim compensation on the principle of 'Absolute Liability'.

The green panel had said an interim compensation of Rs 30 lakh be paid to each deceased pending final assessment.

Thirteen people were killed and 10 others injured when a boiler exploded at the NLC India's thermal plant on July 1.

“Apart from compensating the heirs of the deceased, injured have also to be compensated. We determine interim compensation for seven injured have already been in hospital for about a week to be Rs five lakh each,' the NGT had said.

In its plea before the top court, the petitioner said the NGT erred in taking up the suo motu case when the appellant had approached the Southern Bench of the tribunal.

The failure by the NGT to consider the merits of the Original Application filed by the Appellant has serious implications for both access to justice as well as public participation in environmental decision making, it said.

Tamil Nadu pollution control board filed a report mentioning that the industry has seven boiler units to produce electric power of 1470 MW.

The mishap occurred at the fifth unit of the thermal power station-II (210 MW x 7) when workers were in the process of resuming operations on July 1.

It was reported by officials of NLCIL (Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India Ltd) that the cleaning of lignite dust deposition inside the horizontal box girder might have been done with the help of metal scrappers and due to friction the lignite particles got ignited and due to combustion within the girder, the workers who were inside might have suffocated. PTI PKS SJK RDM RDM