The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttarakhand government to immediately shut down illegal hot mix plants for causing environmental degradation.
The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttarakhand government to immediately shut down illegal hot mix plants for causing environmental degradation. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar ordered the Trivendra Singh Rawat government and Uttarakhand state pollution control board to take action against 35 such plants. “The State shall take appropriate action in accordance with law including the closure of those non-compliant hot mix plants. We also direct the state government and Uttarakhand pollution control board to issue general directions to all district authorities to prepare a list of hot-mix plants which are operating under their jurisdiction.
“That list will be circulated to Uttarakhand pollution control board for appropriate action as above recoded in accordance with law, expeditiously,” the bench said. The counsel appearing for the Uttarakhand government told the tribunal that there were 91 hot mix plants out of which some are functional while some were lying closed. Out of this, nearly 35 hot mix plants have already been served notices for closure and the Board has already passed closure orders and would ensure its implementation.The tribunal directed the state government to submit compliance report within four weeks and asked its registry to put the matter for hearing after submission of the report.
Hot mix plants are self-contained bitumen and aggregate mixing plants which are extremely compact in size. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by NGO Friends seeking action against illegal hot mix plants in the state which were operating without consent from the state pollution control board. The plea alleged that hot mix operators were illegally felling trees and using the wood for fire resulting in air pollution.