Published On: Thu, Apr 21st, 2022
Environment | By IANS

NGT directs Goa PCB to recover fine for oil spillage by Sahara’s cruise vessel

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has directed the Goa State Pollution Control Board to assess and recover the cost of restoration for the environmental damage caused during the berthing of cruise ship ‘MV Qing’, belonging to the Sahara Group, and the spillage of oil from the vessel.

On July 12, 2016, the green court issued notice to the respondents in the matter

The direction of the green court came after the observation that the vessel has been already removed from the spot and the applicant — the Board of Trustees of the Port of Mormugao — had no further grievance.

As per the order passed on April 19, the principal bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (retd) was dealing with an application that was filed before eight years to remove fuel oil and MV Qing which was grounded itself on the floor bedAat the Western India Shipyard Ltd’s repair berth in January 2014.

Sahara India Group’s cruise vessel MV Qing has been chartered by Trinity Leisure Private Ltd and brought to Western India Shipyard to be converted into a hotel in 2014. However, following the accident, the situation led to a marine environmental threat.

On July 12, 2016, the green court issued notice to the respondents in the matter.

The stand of the Goa State PCB was that pollution was being caused by the mixing of fuel oil in the marine environment by the cessel and it also issued directions for the transfer of the fuel oil and toxic waste.

On April 18, 2017, the NGT directed the vessel owner to deposit Rs 1 crore to meet the cost of remediation for restoration of the environment. However, after a week, the respondent was permitted to initially deposit a sum of Rs 30 lakh.

Hearing the matter, the bench noted that the applicant has no further complaint in the matter as the vessel has been removed. “In view of the above, the only issue which survives for consideration is the liability of the owner of the vessel for the damage to the environment, already caused,” the tribunal said in the order.

Disposing of the application, the NGT directed the Goa PCB to assess and recover the environmental cost which may be utilised for the restoration of the environment, after preparing a restoration plan.

The green court also directed the State PCB to file an action taken report with its Registrar General in four months.

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