NGT orders Rs 25L relief each to 3 girls drowned in pit

The tribunal further said if the contractor failed to pay the amount by October 31, the Maharashtra government would disburse the amount and recover the same from the contractor.

The National Green Tribunal has directed a private contractor undertaking sand mining to pay Rs 25 lakh each to the family members of three minor girls who died after drowning in an abandoned pit on the bank of Bhima river in Vijayapura in 2014.

“When a commercial activity is undertaken, it is expected that the person undertaking such exercise takes all precautions by which the life of any person visiting the area is not endangered,” it said.

“The person who is shown to be privy to the incident has to answer the result of it and will be guilty of actionable negligence in civil law and cannot thus, avoid the liability,” it added.

A bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel held Pune-based M/s K J Infrastructure Project India Private Ltd “undoubtedly” liable to pay compensation to the parents of the deceased girls by October 31 under Section 17 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.

Three girls, aged between 14 and 15 years, residents of Gubbewad in Indi taluk of Vijayapura district, had on July 4, 2014, drowned in the pit, adjacent to the area of a lease granted to the contractor.

The issue of death of girls was raised by ex-BJP MLA from Indi Dr Sarvabhoum Bagali, before the tribunal, while highlighting illegal sand mining on the river bed of Bhima in the border villages including Padanur, Baragudi, Inam Shiragur, Gubbewad, Agarkhed and Hingani.

It was further contended that the rules required mine closure plan, which was to be approved at the time of grant of the lease. However, in violation of a requirement of proper closure, sand mining pit was left open. This failure led to the death of the three teenage girls.

The bench, relying upon the report stating that area was in possession of M/s K J Infrastructure Project India Private Ltd, said it cannot avoid liability under the law for negligence even if no proceedings against it were initiated for culpable negligence.

The tribunal further said if the contractor failed to pay the amount by October 31, the Maharashtra government would disburse the amount and recover the same from the contractor.

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NGT orders Rs 25L relief each to 3 girls drowned in pit

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