Panaji: The National Green Tribunal has directed the Goa government to pay Rs 16 lakh each to the families of four teenage boys who drowned in a waterlogged stone quarry while on a picnic last year.
The state Mines and Geology Department was ordered to recover the said money from the operators of the illegal stone quarries in Goa following the ‘polluter pay’ principle.
“The four students succumbed to injuries after falling into a pit left uncared for. Thus, their family members are entitled to compensation of Rs 16 lakh each along with 6 per cent per annum interest from the date of this order. The state of Goa (Department of Mines and Geology) is directed to pay the compensation amount,” said an NGT order issued on Tuesday but released in the public domain on Wednesday.
“Goa may recover the amount from the polluters as per the law,” the NGT order added.
The NGT order said that the compensation amount was arrived at by calculating the average of what the four boys would have earned for 25 years of their active lives.
In September last year, four boys — two aged 14 and two aged 15 — had drowned in the waterlogged stone quarry, where they had gone on a picnic in North Goa’s Tuem village.