On March 19, Abdul Saleem the special government pleader said G Selvarasu deputy secretary to state government had sent a representation stating the executive committee member of the plant had given the compensation, and it had been deposited in a bank account created for this purpose.

An unauthorised storage tank at the plant serving local tanneries in the industrial estate, collapsed on January 31, burying and killing ten workers under the waste sludge.

Subsequently, judicial member M Chockalingam and expert member R Nagendran directed the company to pay a compensation of 75 lakh to the state government for causing pollution. From the amount, 25 lakh ($40,090) had to be disbursed to the families of those killed. The remaining amount is to be used for better management of the environment in Vellore, the bench added.

Of the ten killed, nine were from West Bengal and one was a native of Vellore. A cheque of 2.5 lakh (US$4,009) was provided to the wife of the victim from Vellore while another for 22.50 lakh ($36,074) was sent to the Paschim Medinipur District Magistrate in West Bengal.

The matter has been adjourned until May 12 when there will be a further hearing.

Source: Times of India