The National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, has asked the environment ministry not to give clearance to any new industrial units in Noida.
The tribunal has ordered that no operating unit should be permitted to expand or change product mix. The consent to establish and operate, in case of defaulting units, should be granted only after obtaining permission from the tribunal.
The principal bench of the tribunal, in its order dated April 11, said it passed the order to safeguard the environment and restrict pollution, both air and water, including hazardous waste.
Sanjay Agnihotri, a resident of Noida, had filed a petition on January 12, this year, with the tribunal against the Union of India and others. Citing various reports he had alleged the level of pollution in Noida had had gone up alarmingly. "Rising pollution violates my and my family's right to healthy environment," he had pleaded.
Recently a ban was placed on environmental clearance for new industrial units by the union ministry of environment and forests but without any qualitative change in the scene the ban was lifted, the petitioner said.
The tribunal said despite notices, no representative of the Noida authority appeared. Though the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) filed its reply, it did not satisfy the tribunal. The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) also filed its reply but no counsel appeared on its behalf.
"Taking into consideration the grave nature of allegations and lackadaisical attitude, we direct the member secretary of the CPCB and the chairperson of the Noida authority to remain present in the court on the next date of hearing,” the order said.
The tribunal also directed the UPPCB to conduct spot inspection and collect effluent from polluting units, analyse the same and submit a report detailing the details of hazardous waste generated by these units on the next date of hearing — May 8. Justice A Suryanarayan Naidu, acting chairperson of the tribunal, said no further time would be granted to any one.
The UPPCB has also been directed to take action under the Air and Water Acts and environment regulations with respect to the industries which are not following the conditions imposed. The tribunal said the matter was very serious and told the UPPCB to conduct its inspection on war footing.