Centre bringing notification for environmental clearances, SC told

New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) The Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that it was bringing a fresh notification that would make real estate builders, who first build and then seek environmental clearances, pay hefty compensation.

The compensation would be for the damage caused to the environment under the polluter pays principle and would be used to repair the damage, the Centre said.

The apex court bench comprising Chief Justice T.S.Thakur and Justice R. Banumathi was told this as it was hearing a batch of petitions by seven builders who were asked to pay five percent of the project cost towards environment compensation by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in its July 7, 2015 order.

Additional Solicitor General Neeraj Kishan Kaul appeared for the ministry of environment and forest. Besides the seven petitioners, there was one more whose project clearance had run into difficulties because of the NGT order.

Modifying its earlier order by which the NGT order of July 7, 2015, was stayed, the apex court on Friday asked a five-member committee to inspect all the seven projects located in Tamil Nadu and submit a comprehensive report about the “illegal and unauthorised acts and activities done by them”.

The court said the report of the committee should be submitted before the apex court and the NGT as well.

According to the court, the five-member committee was set up by the NGT order but it could not go ahead with the inspection as the order was stayed by the apex court.

The court also asked all the seven project proponents to deposit five percent of the project cost of their respective projects as ordered by the NGT.

The next hearing would be held in February.

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