The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday allowed 25 out of the 34 restaurants in south Delhi’s Hauz Khas village to reopen, provided they put in place all pollution-control measures in the next four weeks.
Meanwhile the tribunal ordered that the rest (nine restaurants) which are not doing anything about waste water treatment to remain shut.
On Friday, the tribunal had ordered to shut all 34 restaurants in the south Delhi locality till Tuesday, for running without requisite approval and spewing untreated sewage. Later, the interim stay was extended till Wednesday.
Out of the 25 eateries, 14 have placed orders for waste water treatment plants and also started installation. Another 11 have not initiated installation, but placed orders for the plants. The tribunal has also slapped a fine of Rs. 10,000 on each of these 11 units.
The tribunal also formed a seven-member committee to suggest ways on how all restaurants across the capital can be made to adhere to pollution-control norms. The committee will submit its report in two months.
Most of the restaurants in Delhi run without required consent under laws formed to control air and water pollution.
Pankaj Sharma, on whose petition the tribunal gave its order, said: "We welcome today’s (Wednesday) order which validates our stand that environment sustainability and business activities should go hand-in-hand for urbanisation. It is the need of the hour that the industries and government bodies act responsibly in persevering the environment, failing which a catastrophe is inevitable. The order is a progressive step in the right direction and would set precedence for not just Delhi, but entire India."
"We will also review the situation at ground zero in the meantime, and would continue with our efforts to preserve the eco-sensitive zone of Hauz Khas Village and other parts of Delhi," he added.
The tribunal on Friday expressed concern over "the mushrooming of a large number of restaurants established illegally without required consent under laws formed to control air and water pollution".
"These restaurants are discharging effluents, drawing potable water besides causing nuisance and environmental hazards," it said.