Tribunal Orders Closure of Polluting Industries in Ghaziabad
Indian Express
January 17, 2013

NEW DELHI: Pulling up Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) for failing to check polluting industries in Ghaziabad, National Green Tribunal has directed closure of units which are discharging harmful effluents into air and water in violation of the Board's consent order.

A bench headed by Tribunal Chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the interim order after going through the affidavits submitted by the UPPCB and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) which said some industries in the city are operating without or in violation of the consent order and the pollution levels have reached a very high level.

"All the parties before us are ad idem (in agreement) that there is a serious air and water pollution problem in the city of Ghaziabad and number of industries are operating without obtaining the requisite consent from the Pollution Control Board and/or by violating the terms and conditions of the consent order issued by the Pollution Control Board.

"By an ad interim injunction, we direct closure of these units and issue notice to all these units as well, returnable on the next date, February 19, 2013," the bench said.

The bench also comprising judicial member Justice P Jyothimani and expert members G K Pandey, D K Agarwal and A R Yousuf, however, pulled up the UPPCB saying it "has failed to exercise proper check upon these industries".

"Hardly one can mention about prevention but it (UPPCB) has failed to even control pollution, air and water both in the city of Ghaziabad," it said.

The bench also said that the affidavit filed on behalf of the UPPCB "does not provide the complete and entirely correct information" adding that "it is difficult to believe there will (only) be a few hundred industrial units in the city of Ghaziabad".

The Tribunal has now directed the UPPCB to file within two weeks an affidavit showing the number of industries functioning in the city and how many of them are operating with and without the board's consent.

The Tribunal, while directing the concerned authorities of the state to "ensure the compliance of this order", has ordered the UP Director General of Police to "provide all assistance to these authorities to ensure that this order is complied with".

On November 2, 2012, the Tribunal had directed UP authorities to neither allow setting up of any new industries there nor permit expansion of those units categorised as 'Red' and 'Orange' and as a source of pollution without the tribunal's approval.

Industries are categorised as Red, Orange or Green on the basis of their decreasing order of severity of pollution.

The Tribunal had also directed the UPPCB to file a detailed affidavit indicating "current Environmental Compliance Status of units located in all Industrial Estates and the pollution level of ground water as well as the air ambiance".

Pursuant to the order, the UPPCB filed its affidavit in which it has said that there are total 24 category 'Red' units in Ghaziabad which are operating in violation of the consent order as well as the prescribed norms and initiation of action against them by the board has not yielded any results.

The CPCB, meanwhile, in its affidavit has said that the Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index (CEPI) scores for Ghaziabad for the year 2009 and 2011 both show a red zone situation.

As per CPCB's affidavit the CEPI score of the city is 87.37 and 81.14 for the years 2009 and 2011 respectively.

The CEPI range is from 0 to 100, where a figure close to 0 will show lower levels of pollution.

The Tribunal was hearing a petition filed by Ghaziabad resident Rajiv Narayan, who alleged that the rapid development of industries in the city has resulted in acute air and water pollution which is causing severe health problems to the residents of the city.

He has alleged that the acute air and water pollution in Ghaziabad is being caused by the discharge of effluents of industries as well as due to lack of proper municipal waste disposal system.

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