The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered inspection of industrial units running without requisite approvals and causing water pollution in Sonipat and Panipat districts of Haryana.
A bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel constituted a joint team of representatives of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Haryana State Pollution Control Board, Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and the district administration concerned to look into the allegations and submit an action plan on the issue after a plea claimed that the units were running despite the tribunal's order to take permission to operate.
"Having regard to the nature of allegations, we consider it necessary to constitute a joint team of representatives of Central Pollution Control Board, Haryana Pollution Control Board, CGWA and District Administrations concerned, to look into the allegations and monitor the situation.
"The coordinator will be the representative of the Central Pollution Control Board. The Joint Committee may hold its meeting within two weeks and take stock of the situation and prepare an action plan. The action plan may be thereafter executed in a time-bound manner," the bench, also comprising Justice Jawad Rahim, said.
The NGT clarified that the order of the tribunal is binding as a decree of Court and its non-compliance is actionable by way of punitive action including prosecution, in terms of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
The tribunal directed the committee to submit the report within three months by e-mail.
The tribunal's direction came while hearing a plea filed by city-resident Shailesh Singh seeking a direction to close industrial units running without the requisite statutory consent under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
Alleging that these industries were causing water pollution, it has also sought direction to restrain them from dumping untreated effluent into the fields.
"It is submitted that even though action has been initiated by Central Pollution Control Board, on the ground level there is no compliance and even out of the units which have been directed to be closed, some are still working in the same manner," the plea said.
It also referred to a news article and said that ground water in most of the area in 11 districts of southern and western Haryana is unfit for consumption for the reason that there is salinity of high concentration of nitrate or fluoride.
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