National Green Tribunal has directed surprise checks of polluting industries in Ghaziabad and adjoining areas after a plea alleged that toxic discharge from these units was causing air and water pollution there.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed Environment Ministry, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Uttar Pradesh government and UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to conduct surprise inspection of these units and submit data on how many industries were operating in the entire area.
“The joint inspection team shall conduct comprehensive and complete inspection of polluting industries Ghaziabad/ Sahibabad and the site in question including M/s Rathi Steels and submit report to the Tribunal. This would be by virtue of surprise inspection.
“The State of Uttar Pradesh and UP Pollution Control Board will furnish a complete data/statistics as to how many industries are operating in the entire area which require their hazardous waste to be treated by TSDF facilities, in accordance with Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000,” the tribunal said.
The bench, also comprising Justice R S Rathore, asked them to inform how many of such industries were members of and connected to the waste treating units — Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd and Bharat Oil and Waste Management Ltd.
“How many out of them are operating without such membership? The committee would also submit the list of the industries who are not members of these two treatment plants and where do they discharge their hazardous waste,” it said.
The NGT also directed the two waste treating units and UPPCB to provide details of the industries which were their members but were still not sending their hazardous waste to the designated facility.
The matter is now listed for next hearing on November 17.
NGT’s direction came on a plea by Ghaziabad resident Rajiv Narayan, who had alleged that rapid development of industries has resulted in acute air and water pollution which is causing severe health problems to the city’s dwellers.
According to him, CPCB in 2009 came up with Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) by looking at four prime parameters to arrive at a score for water, air and land pollution. This index showed Ghaziabad as third most polluted city in the country.