iconimg Thursday, July 02, 2015

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 20, 2013
For all those who swear by the urbane coolness of the cheek-by-jowl hangout zones in Hauz Khas Village, the national Capital's latest hub for hipsters, there's some bad news. The National Green Tribunal on Friday ordered all 34 restaurants in Hauz Khas in south Delhi to be shut till Tuesday, for causing environmental damage to the 14th century village.
 
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by petitioner Pankaj Sharma, who claimed the eateries did not have environmental clearance to operate.
 
Sharma's lawyer Sumedha Dua said: "The order will remain in force at least till Tuesday when the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) explains its position."
 
"We will issue closure notices immediately after we have the court’s order," said a senior DPCC official.
  
After inspecting all 34 restaurants in the village, where heritage structures share space with the Capital’s top-of-the-line dining addresses, the DPCC on August 14 issued them show-cause notices.

The restaurants were found not to have environmental clearances. In the absence of sewage treatment plants, leftovers were being flushed down the drain. They were also extracting groundwater illegally for cleaning and other such purposes.

“While others have sought time for steps such as setting up of sewage treatment plants, 16 of them failed to respond,” DPCC chief Sandeep Mishra said.