In what can be termed as a major set back to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the National Green Tribunal on its order passed on May 31 related to the construction of retaining wall along the Mithi river has asked MMRDA to pay Rs 25 lakh as Environmental Compensation.

The NGT has also asked the SEIAA, Maharashtra, to nominate a member of NEERI, who would examine the entire matter and submit the final report to the Tribunal in terms of the Judgment, within 3 months from the date of its pronouncement.

Coming down heavily on MMRDA for the Mithi river project, the NGT also stated in the order that "MMRDA has started the project without compliance to the relevant provisions of law. It caused environmental degradation and even the blasting work was carried in violation to the relevant laws in force. Consequently, the said respondent is liable to pay Environmental Compensation.

At this initial stage, it is directed that the project proponent shall pay Rs. 25 lakhs as Environmental Compensation, which will be subject to final adjustment upon submissions of the report by the expert body including the money required for taking restorative and remedial measures." Stated the point from the NGT order.

NGT has also stated that MoEF shall particularly identify the damage caused due to blasting activity and submit a detailed report on remediation along with costs within 4 months to this Tribunal.