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National Green Tribunal refuses to review order slapping 5Lakh fine on schools and colleges

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday refused to review its order slapping a fine of Rs 5 lakh each on schools and colleges which have failed to install rain water harvesting systems on their premises.

A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore said the execution of the order of the tribunal had not been made by the parties during the entire 2018.

“Therefore, a detail order was passed by the tribunal on January 30 after taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances. By the said order, directions were issued to all the educational institutions in NCT Delhi, including South Delhi Municipal Corporation who were also party in the original application. Thereafter, another order was passed on February 22,” it noted.

The green panel said that despite the specific order passed by the larger bench of the tribunal on November 16 with the specific time frame, the same was not implemented within the period of two months.

It said that a review plea cannot be accepted for the reason that had the parties started the work in execution of the order since November, 2017, the work would have been completed much earlier.

It is only after passing of the order in the execution application that the respondent authorities have come into action, it said.

“In this execution application the tribunal has only imposed the environmental compensation which was ordered on November 16, 2017. In fact the defaulting persons are liable for further compensation/cost for not completing the rainwater harvesting system within the time schedule. During the intervening period one monsoon season has already lapsed,” the tribunal said.

“In the aforesaid facts and circumstances and the specific order passed on November 16 as well as the fact that in case of default environmental compensation was already fixed by the tribunal in its order while deciding the original application, we do not find any error apparent on the face of the record in the orders dated January 30 and February 22.

The tribunal had earlier directed the Ministry of Human Resource Development to inform it within a week about the status of installation of rainwater harvesting systems in Kendriya and Navodaya Vidyalayas here.

The NGT had earlier imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh each on educational institutions in the national capital for failing to install rainwater harvesting systems.

The tribunal’s direction had come on a plea filed by city resident Mahesh Chandra Saxena.

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