The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttar Pradesh government and the state pollution control board to ascertain whether the distilleries which were directed to be closed for operating without appropriate permission, have complied with its order.
The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttar Pradesh government and the state pollution control board to ascertain whether the distilleries which were directed to be closed for operating without appropriate permission, have complied with its order. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the state government to verify the statement made by the lawyer, appearing for all the five distillery units, that they were closed as per the NGT order.
The five units which were asked to restrain from manufacturing alcohol are Hapur-based Brijnathpur Distillery, Lakhimpur Kheri-based Swampurnanand Distillery, Nanoata Distillery in Saharanpur, Anupshahr Distillery in Bulandshahr and Nanpara Distillery in Bahraich.
“The State of UP and state pollution control board shall find out and inform whether it is factually correct or not. The counsel appearing for the applicant has filed a list of 150 industries which are manufacturing absolute alcohol (Ethanol).
“The list be furnished to all the counsels appearing in this case, who shall take appropriate steps and submit report before the tribunal whether all these industries are generating absolute alcohol (Ethanol), and whether they have permission from Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation. The needful be done within two weeks,” the bench said. The matter was fixed for next hearing on October 16.
The order came during the hearing of a contempt plea filed by NGO SAFE alleging that the authorities were allowing illegal operation of these units without license and in contravention of the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules 1989, putting lives at grave risk.
The plea had referred to UP government’s affidavit and contended that only two of the 35 distilleries had requisite license while the others were manufacturing ethanol illegally.
“The industries manufacturing absolute alcohol or ethanol were not only operating illegally without the requisite permission from competent authorities, but also manipulating the actual total production, storage and sales figures of absolute alcohol causing not only huge financial loss to state revenue but also jeopardising safety of people and environment,” the NGO had said in its contempt plea.
The NGT had last year directed that no manufacturer will produce absolute alcohol without seeking appropriate permission from the Ministry of Commerce, Chief Controller Explosives and other authorities.
“It is in view of the fact that under the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989 and Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response) Rules 1996 as notified under the provision of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, such permission is required,” the tribunal had said.