National Green Tribunal on Friday directed the Madhya Pradesh government to report what step it had taken for closure of the industrial units flouting norms by discharging effluents near the erstwhile Union Carbide Industry site in Chhola area of Bhopal. The Tribunal also directed the state government to report the environmental damage caused in the area due to such industrial activity.
The two member bench comprising Justice Dalilp Singh, judicial member and Dr Satyawan Singh Garbyal, expert member, gave these directions while hearing a case in which the Tribunal had taken cognizance on its own. The next hearing in the case will be on December 15.
In December last year Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangarsh Samiti convener Sadhana Karnik had convened a press meet, alleging that half a dozen small scale industries were spreading pollution in the gas affected area near Union Carbide site where people were still fighting the aftermath of the world’s largest industrial disaster was a serious issue. Karnik had claimed that the smoke from the industries was affecting the health of the residents in the area.
In its order Tribunal on Friday said in December last according to media report effluent were being discharged from the small industrial units near the erstwhile Union Carbide Industry site in Chola area of Bhopal. Taking cognizance of the report the State pollution control board carried out inspection towards December end last year. Based on their findings and observations, notices were issued to various units for obtaining necessary consents and compliance. The units included Kundan Namkeen Centre, Harish Namkeen Centre, Rakesh Namkeen Centre, Laxmi Haat Bakers, Jhulelal Bakery, Century Plastic Molding Unit and Sudama Store.
While the inspections was being carried out and show cause notices were being issued in January 2016 for obtaining necessary consents under the Air and Water Act for setting up of effluent treatment plant with regard to the discharge from these units, The Tribunal received another complaint and accordingly a fresh inspection was carried out in the area in March this year.
In the fresh inspection, it was found that there were about 20 units operating in Kaliparad industrial area which had masala grinding as well as plastic moulding units. After notices, these units were served closure orders.
NGT in its order said that one unit Century Plastic and Moulding applied for obtaining the Air and Water Act consent and for setting up ETP. “Other units however, submitted that they may be permitted to obtain the membership of common ETP in Govindpura industrial area and they would send their effluent through tankers to the same”, the order said.
Tribunal in its order maintained that “up to August 2016 these remaining units neither obtained the consent nor started sending their effluent to any effluent treatment plant. As a result they were issued closure directions”.
Tribunal directed the state government to report what steps it had taken for the compliance of closure orders in the next date of hearing. The Tribunal also directed the MPPCB to proceed against the defaulting units in accordance with law.