Environment bill stipulates compensation for victims

Kathmandu, September 8

The Environment and Natural Resources Protection Bill-2019 has stipulated a provision of compensation to any person or organisation harmed by hazardous waste or pollution emitted against the standards set by the government.

As per the bill, if any person or organisation suffered any loss or damage due to pollution, sound, harmful waste or accidental pollution by anyone contrary, the victim may file an application to the concerned authority at local level requesting for an order of compensation from the polluter.

“While examining the application, if it is confirmed that loss or damage has been caused, the executive of the local level shall order such person or organisation or proponent of a project to pay reasonable compensation to the victim depending on the gravity of the harm,” stated section 53 of the bill.

The bill prohibited carrying out any project without getting the environmental impact assessment or initial environmental examination approved by the local level or the concerned agency.

If any person or organisation is found to have committed such offence, the prescribed authorities could punish him/her with a fine ranging from Rs 500,000 to one million rupees, depending on the gravity of the case.

The bill envisioned to protect fundamental right of each citizen to live in a clean and healthy environment, with proper use and sustainable management of natural resources, by maintaining balance between environment and development. It held municipality/rural municipality responsible to protect local environment and demanded citizens to contribute to building environment-friendly society. The executive of the concerned local level could order households or organisations for segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste at source for their safe disposal.

The bill also prohibited any person or organisations from creating pollution exceeding the stipulated standards, in a manner to cause significant adverse impacts on public life, health and environment.

“No motor vehicles, industrial enterprises, hotels or restaurants shall emit sound, heath, radioactive radiation, wave or waste or wastewater exceeding the limits set by the existing standards,” read the bill.