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2011 Mumbai oil spill: NGT slaps Rs 105 crore fine on shipping firm

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Aug 24, 2016, 7:05 am IST
Updated : Aug 24, 2016, 7:05 am IST

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore and Rs 5 crore on Qatar-based Delta Navigation and Adani Enterprises Ltd.

NGT slaps Rs 105 crore fine.
 NGT slaps Rs 105 crore fine.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore and Rs 5 crore on Qatar-based Delta Navigation and Adani Enterprises Ltd. respectively, in connection with the 2011 Mumbai oil spill case. The tribunal also sought to know from an expert committee as to what should be the compensation payable by respondents at regular intervals to prevent and control the pollution arising.

The NGT headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar in its order said, “No party from any country in the world has the right or privilege to sail an unseaworthy ship to the contiguous and exclusive economic zone of India and in any event, dump the same in such waters, causing marine pollution, damage or degradation thereof.”

Slapping a fine of Rs 100 crore on Qatar-based Delta Shipping Marine Services SA. Delta Navigation W.L.L. and Interport Marine Services Pvt. Ltd., the tribunal in its order said that these respondents were held liable to pay environmental compensation to the ministry of shipping, government of India, for causing marine environmental pollution by sinking of the ship in Indian waters (the Arabian Sea), 20 nautical miles off the Mumbai coast.

“The Rs 100 crore shall include expenses incurred by the Coast Guard and other forces for prevention and control of pollution in different ways, as stated, caused by the oil spill and saving the crew etc. Out of this amount, a sum of Rs 69,184,405 shall be adjusted and paid to the respective agencies," stated the tribunal's order. In respect of the Rs 5 crore fine imposed on Adani Enterprises Ltd., the tribunal said that the compensation was for dumping 60054 MT coal in the seabed and causing pollution of marine environment, in different ways.

The NGT also constituted a committee comprising members such as the director general; additional secretary of the ministry of shipping; member secretary of Central Pollution Control Board; senior scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography; Dona Paula, Goa; members of the Indian Coast Guard; and other experts.

The committee has been asked to conduct a study and report to NGT within a month whether removal of the shipwreck and cargo from present location should be directed or wreckage and cargo should be left at the present location in the interest of marine environment.

The committee has also been asked to find out if it is practically feasible or not to remove wreckage and cargo. NGT has further directed the committee to state the compensation to be paid by respondents at regular intervals for preventing and controlling pollution arising therefrom.

On August 4, 2011, a shipping carrier named M.V. Rak sank in the Arabian Sea 20 nautical miles off the south Mumbai coast. The ship carrying coal was owned by Delta Navigation whose parent company is Qatar-based Delta Group International.

The ship was supposed to deliver coal to Adani Enterprises Ltd. for a thermal plant in Gujarat and hence, the latter too was made a party in the case. The ship was carrying around 290 tonne of fuel oil, 50 tonne of diesel, and 60,000 metric tonne of coal for Adani's Gujarat thermal power plant.

After the vessel sank on August 4, an evident oil slick was reported on August 6, which, according to defence, had spread about seven nautical miles around the vessel.