Order of the Supreme Court of India on Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited refinery in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, 05/01/2023

  • 05/01/2023

Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of M/s Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited Vs Visakha Pawan Praja Karmika Sangam & Others dated 05/01/2023.

The Supreme Court directed Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to comply with the order passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), October 20, 2022 to deposit environmental compensation assessed at Rs. 8,35,20,000. The SC directed HPCL to comply with the directions within a period of eight weeks.

However, the apex court stayed a part of the NGT order (Paragraph No. 53.4) wherein HPCL was directed to deposit a further sum of Rs. 10,00,00,000. The amount of rupees ten crores was imposed by the NGT on HPCL for their "wilful negligence being a PSU" and the amount was to be spent on restoration of environment and public health in the district of Vizag.

The matter related to HPCL refinery in Visakhapatnam established in 1957 causing smoke, odour and water pollution. On May 25, 2021 there was a fire accident at the crude distillation unit III. A report filed by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) which was submitted along with the detailed report from the enquiry committee said that the cause of the outbreak was found to be the hole that developed on "6 SR pipeline carrying bitumen due to corrosion or erosion". The report further observed lapses of HPCL during inspection.

Note: NGT order, October 20, 2022