Bhopal’s only slaughterhouse can continue operation for another 18 months by when it has to shift premises, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) said on Wednesday, but fined the administration for having failed to prevent pollution.
The green panel slapped a Rs 1-crore penalty on the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the state government for their delay in shifting the Jinsi Chouraha slaughterhouse to another site. The amount should be submitted in a month to the State Pollution Control Board, which will use it for the development of the current site.
The case was filed by city resident Vinod Kumar Kori, who sought the closure of the slaughterhouse for releasing untreated solid waste in a big way into a nearby nallah. In September last year, the NGT directed the state government to shift the slaughterhouse an alternate site by June 30, 2016.
On Wednesday, the NGT’s central bench agreed to extend the slaughterhouse’s operation till March 31, 2018 based on the state government’s affidavit that said it had found an alternative site. A cabinet meeting will take up a proposal to construct the abattoir on a one-time stud farm near the existing one, the affidavit stated, adding the land will be formally allotted “on or before September 10”.
The slaughterhouse was closed on June 30 on the NGT’s directions, adding vigour to an agitation by Muslims in Old Bhopal, as there was no alternative site ready. Later, the abattoir got a temporary extension to operate.
The green panel directed the government to submit a “performance guarantee” of Rs 2 crore, from which Rs 10,000 will be deducted daily if work on the new slaughterhouse continues after the deadline.
The affidavit further stated that the BMC will commence the slaughterhouse construction “immediately” after the land allotment, adding the work will take 18 months to complete.
The affidavit said the government will form two high-level committees for a time-bound construction of the new slaughterhouse. One will be headed by the urban development commissioner and will monitor the progress of the construction process. Another, headed by the environment commissioner, will ensure that the existing slaughterhouse will adhere to the anti-pollution norms.