Nepa Mills pays Rs 3 cr penalty for eco damage

Vinit, Indore: Nepa Mills Limited had to shell out Rs 3 crore to Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) as penalty for failing to upgrade its

power plant and thereby, wasting environmental resources.
In December 2015, while hearing a matter on environmental degradation due to fly ash produced by its captive power plant, the tribunal ordered NEPA Mills Limited to upgrade their thermal power plant within six months to utilise maximum carbon content in coal for protection of environment.
The company is said to have sold fly ash generated from its thermal power plant at exorbitant prices, although sale of fly ash has been prohibited by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change through a notification dated September 14, 1999.
The Central government issued the notification to conserve top soil and prevent dumping and disposal of fly ash discharged from coal or lignite based thermal power plants. The company, however, claimed before NGT that the fly ash generated by their power plant contained more than 17% carbon content.
Replying to this claim, the NGT ordered the company to upgrade its power plant so as to completely utilise energy from burning coal and stop coal residues from mixing with fly ash, which amounts to wastage of resources.
“Having failed to comply with the orders, it had to shell out Rs 3 crore to the state pollution control board, which shall use the money for restoration of environment in Burhanpur area,” said advocate Manoj Agarwal, who had challenged sale of fly ash by the company.
The matter is under consideration, but the green bench has directed Nepa Mills to upgrade their plant to utilize optimum calorific value from coal.The company has now closed their captive power plant and received another extension of six months to upgrade it.
After directions from the principal bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT), the company paid the penalty to MPPCB last week.