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.