The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered a highway construction company to pay Rs 55.47 crore for causing environmental damage by illegally excavating stone, sand, and murram for its projects in the Nashik and Hingoli districts of Maharashtra.

In two separate orders on February 22, NGT's western zone bench in Pune comprising Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh and Expert Member Dr. Vijay Kulkarni directed Rajendrasinh Bhamboo Infra Private Limited to pay Rs 36.35 crore and Rs 19.12 crore to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board within a month.

Advocate Nitin Lonkar appeared for the Appellant while Advocate Rahul Garg appeared for Respondent No. 1 before the Tribunal.

"We find that since the activity of mining has been conducted by the project proponent (Rajendrasinh Bhamboo Infra) without taking prior environmental clearance, the same is treated to be violation which impacts the environment adversely," said the green tribunal in one of its orders.

One Dattatraya Phalke had filed pleas with the tribunal saying that the company be blacklisted for having repeatedly "violated environmental norms for its commercial benefits".

The tribunal had earlier punished the company by imposing "environmental compensation" but it continues to violate the environmental norms, said petitioner Phalke.

As per the pleas, the firm deliberately did not obtain "prior environmental clearance for its project at Kalamnuri in Hingoli and has illegally excavated more than 4,50,000 brass of stones, murom and sand".

For its project at Nandgaon in Nashik district, the company has carried out illegal mining of 25,000 brass of similar construction materials, the plea added.

Cause Title - Mr. Dattatraya Phalke v. The Union of India & Ors.

Click here to read/download the Order