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NGT forms expert committee to ascertain impact of steel pickling units on air quality, Yamuna river

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The constituted an expert committee to ascertain the impact of industries on the air quality and the in the city.

A bench headed by NGT Justice formed the committee comprising senior scientists from the Board (CPCB), Engineering Research Institute, and IIT Kharakpur.

The green panel said the CPCB will be the nodal agency and the committee may visit the site and furnish a report to this tribunal.

The report may be furnished as far as possible within two months from Thursday by e-mail, it said.

"It is necessary to ascertain the impact of the industry on the air quality of which is already highly polluted, on which is also subjected to severe pollution by several polluting activities, industrial as well as municipal, impact on the green belt and the inhabitants on account of huge hazardous waste already dumped and further potential for generation of such hazardous waste.

"If the industry is to be allowed and the mechanism, if any, to deal with the poisonous liquids flowing in the area as depicted in the photographs caused damage to the including the ground water. It is also necessary to ascertain the quantification of damage already caused and the cost of restoration of the required to be incurred," the NGT said.

The green panel also said that industries are part of prohibited list and the power of the government is limited to only determine whether a particular activity is part of such prohibited list and not to ignore or modify the said list.

The matter is listed for next hearing on May 27.

The tribunal had earlier fined the government Rs 50 crore for its "failure" to take action against pickling units in residential areas as they fall under the prohibited list of industrial activity.

The bench had said that discharge of untreated effluent directly or indirectly in the has caused serious damage to the and the Polluter Pays Principle needs to be invoked to compensate the damage caused.

The NGT had also directed the to shut these units with immediate effect and directed the to constitute a three-member team to identify persons responsible who may be liable to be prosecuted and punished for violation of law. It had sought a report within four months.

The order had come on a plea filed by an NGO, the All India Lokadhikar Sangthan, seeking the execution of its order by which the green panel had directed the Committee (DPCC) to take action against in residential areas as they fall under the prohibited list of industrial activity as per the Delhi Master Plan (DMP), 2021.

The plea had alleged that such units functioning at Wazirpur discharged effluent in open drains which ultimately met the river.

It had contended that under the pretext of decision making "time is being taken by the and the environment is made to suffer continuously".

Pickling is the process of removing impurities such as stains and inorganic contaminants from metals.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 07 2019. 19:30 IST