The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) to pay Rs 30.25 lakh to 121 fishermen in Gujarat's Kutch district for the loss of livelihood suffered by them on account of its activities.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel said loss of livelihood to the fishermen was caused for the period from December, 2010 to February, 2011.

While the PGCIL has denied causing any loss, the inspection report of the Ministry of Environment and Forests shows such loss by illegal action of the PGCIL, the tribunal said.

“The total loss thus comes out to ₹30,25,000. We allow compensation to that extent and direct PGCIL to deposit the said amount with the district magistrate, Kutch within two months in full and final settlement of all their claims.  “The district magistrate may distribute the amount to 121 fishermen at the rate of ₹25,000 each within two months after the deposit. Any delay beyond the time fixed will incur further liability of interest,” the bench said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Sama Siddiq Usman and others seeking grant of compensation to the fishermen of Cheravadi and Surajbari villages in Kutch for the loss of livelihood suffered by them on account of activities of PGCIL.

According to the applicants, PGCIL started laying down a double circuit transmission line to transmit power from 4000 MW Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project, passing over the Surajbari and Cheravadi sub-creek.

In the process, they completely blocked the two km wide Cheravadi sub-creek with mud, construction debris, tiles and concrete in large quantities and other construction waste with the objective to completely bund/block the entire Cheravadi sub-creek. 

“This resulted in irreversible damage to the said creek, unique marine ecosystem of the region and the flora and fauna in the Wild Ass Sanctuary, apart from further damage,” the plea said.

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