The National Green Tribunal on Thursday ordered NLC India Ltd an interim penalty of Rs 5 crore to be paid in connection with the boiler blast at the Neyveli Lignite Power Plant in Tamil Nadu on July 1, which saw 13 workers die and 10 suffering serious injuries. 

NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel heading the bench said in his statement that an independent verification of facts in the incident is required. He added that an interim compensation on the principle of 'Absolute Liability' must be made by the industrial unit. 

The tribunal in their order said that Rs 30 lakh as an interim compensation be paid to each deceased pending final assessment. The bench said, "Apart from compensating the heirs of the deceased, injured have also to be compensated. We determine interim compensation for seven injured who have already been in hospital for about a week to be Rs five lakh each." Regarding those who have been discharged, the tribunal said an interim compensation of Rs one lakh is to be given to each person. The bench also added saying, "The industrial unit may deposit the amount of Rs five crore with the District Magistrate, Cuddalore, within two weeks to meet claim for compensation as ad hoc arrangement." 

NLC has been ordered to transfer the amount of interim compensation to the bank accounts of the heirs of the deceased and the injured. An inspection of the site by an independent committee has also been mandated by NGT, which will comprise of the Central Pollution Control Board, TN Pollution Control Board, District Magistrate, Cuddalore, NEERI and IIT Chennai. They have been asked to collect the facts by taking into account the version of the industrial unit and other stakeholders. The bench stated, "The report may be given within three months by email. A copy of the report be uploaded on website of CPCB for comments of any affected party."

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has already filed a report which states that NLC India's thermal plant produces electric power of 1470 MW in their seven boiler units. The report states that the tragedy occured at the fifth unit of the thermal power station-II (210 MW x 7) when operations were set to resume on July 1. 

Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India Ltd (NLCIL) officials reported that the cleaning of lignite dust deposition inside the horizontal box girder might have been carried out using metal scrappers. As a result of the friction, the lignite particles could have gotten ignited and due to combustion within the girder, the workers inside might have had to suffocate and suffer.