The National Green Tribunal has directed Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to close ceramic industries operating without approval and not adhering to mandatory pollution norms in Khurja city.
The green panel also directed the UPPCB to prosecute ceramic industries, which have failed to comply with the Environment Protection Act, 1986 and take penal action against them.
The NGT was hearing a plea filed by NGO Jai Hind seeking directions to UP government to place on record all the relevant materials and documents relating to the steps taken by them to control the air pollution in Khurja.
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The direction came after UPPCB assured the tribunal that it would not allow any ceramic industry in Khurja to run without approval or in violation of standards prescribed by law.
"We do not see any reason, particularly in view of the Principle of Sustainable Development to direct the respondent authorities to stop the operations of the ceramic industries.
"We, however direct UPPCB to take all measures to stop the operations of the ceramic industries situated in Khurja which are being run without valid consent or in violation of the provisions of law," the bench said.
The plea, filed through advocate Gaurav Bansal, had claimed that major environmental problems like air pollution and mismanagement of solid waste have arisen due to the pottery industries in Khurja.
The NGO had also alleged that cases of respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis are being reported due to air pollution caused predominantly by the burning of coal (in kilns) in the area.