GUWAHATI, May 7 � The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to depute a team of officers to inspect a disputed area in upper Assam where Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) pipeline laying activities have allegedly damaged a tea garden area and two streams � Rajgarjan and Gohainjan.
The team should comprise senior CPCB environmental engineers and senior scientists or experts and the CPCB is to submit a detailed report on the matter within two months from May 6, said the NGT in its order.
The Principal Bench of the NGT asked the CPCB in its May 6 order in Original Application Number 283/2013 (MA No. 756/2013 and MA No. 1057/2013) RNT Plantation Ltd vs Union of India and others, to ascertain whether the ONGC has been degrading the soil of the tea estate owned by the company and whether the streams are natural or man-made drains and whether they are blocked by the ONGC work.
The NGT direction further stated that the CPCB team should examine whether the ONGC has been discharging effluents, sludge, crude oil and other waste materials into the above mentioned streams.
The issues as to whether the ONGC culverts over the two streams are undersized, whether the ONGC has been dumping oil, sludge and other waste materials, including drilling mud and effluents, openly in the tea estate of the applicant and in the nearby areas have also been asked by the NGT to be examined.