Of the 35 five-star hotels in Delhi, only 14 have the consent to operate (CTO) from the government.
In reply to a Right to Information (RTI) question, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has also admitted only 10 of these hotels have environment clearance.
The environment clearance is a one-time certificate, granted on the basis of studies conducted to know the possible impact on the environment if the proposed hotel comes up in a particular area.
Consent to operate is granted under Air and Water Acts for five years after physical verification of safeguards installed when the project is ready to start.
“The process of granting a clearance started only in the mid-2000s. Many of these came up much earlier. As for CTO, many requests are under process. All hotels have applied for CTO. In some cases, there are some litigations that’s delaying matters,” said a senior government official.
RTI applicant and environmentalist Mahendra Pandey said, “Had the pollution-control safeguards been verified sincerely during issuance of consent and clearance, we wouldn’t have found hotels not meeting the greenhouse emission standards.”
“As for water requirement, the national building code-2005 clearly restricts it to 320 litres per day per head (occupant) for 5-star hotels. DPCC can always take action. The concept of zero-discharge of waste is rarely followed,” he said.
“Along with hotels, DPCC should also be blamed which issues CTO and is almost directly involved in according environment clearance to projects,” he said.
On February 26, the government had told all 35 five-star hotels to submit their plans and furnish details of resources used and wastes generated.