A large number of industrial units in the city face closure as they are operating without the mandatory consent of National Green Tribunal.
The Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) recently received a communication from the National Green Tribunal, directing all industrial units running without obtaining consent from the competent authority be immediately closed.
The UT administration had carved out Phases 1 and 2 during the 70s over an area of 147 acres. According to the available data, there are a total of 1,781 plots in both phases, of which over 1,200 plots are being used for industrial activities.
According to sources, nearly 500 of 1,200 units do not possess the required consent from the tribunal.
Cracking the whip on such units, the CPCC on Sunday issued a public notice informing all defaulting units that strict action would be taken, which include sealing of units. While taking to HT, CPCC director PJS Dhadwal said all units which required consent under sections 25 and 26 of the Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, 1974, and under section 21 of the Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, 1981, have been directed to close their operations.
“They can restart their operations only after getting the mandatory consent from the competent authority,” Dhadwal added.
According to sections 25 and 26 of the water Act, no industry or operator process or any treatment and disposal system can be established without the previous consent of the state board and no industry or process can discharge sewage or trade effluent into a stream or well or sewer or land in excess of the standards and without the consent of the board. Whoever contravenes these provisions shall be punishable with imprisonment not be less than one-and-a-half years and may extend to six years with fine.
The section 21 of the air prevention Act states that no person can operate an industrial plant without prior content of the state board. If the industry is already in operation it should have applied for consent to the board within a period of three months from the date of area declared as air pollution control area.
Industries Association of Chandigarh president Arun Mahajan said the move of closing down the units was totally uncalled for, adding that all units should be allowed to apply for the consent without closing them.
“The administration will take one-two months in processing the applications of units which require permission. The decision will not only affect the owners but also people working in these units,” Mahajan added.
Echoing similar sentiments, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal general secretary Vinod Joshi said it was a very harsh decision. “It will have negative implications on the industry, which is already struggling,” rued Joshi.