HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Pollution board may crack down on Delhi Golf Club

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 23, 2014
First Published: 23:58 IST(23/8/2014) | Last Updated: 01:52 IST(24/8/2014)

The city’s pollution watchdog may reinforce its earlier closure order to Delhi Golf Club, holding it responsible for wasting water, causing pollution and violating other environmental norms.

The case underlines a bigger problem. Most of the 50-odd clubs in Delhi are running without pollution permits. They use bore wells without permission. While Delhi perennially faces water shortage, these clubs use fresh water for non-drinking purposes. They spew a huge amount of sewage that could be otherwise treated to use in toilets and water their sprawling lawns.  

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had on June 16 issued a closure order as despite a show-cause notice and two extensions, the Delhi Golf Club had failed to complete installation of a sewage treatment plant (STP) and obtain a consent to operate. 

The order reads: “You shall close the club immediately. The power discom and the water utility will cut supplies. The municipal corporation will cancel the licence. The SDM will ensure immediate closure of the club. Non-compliance will attract penal action.”

On July 8, the DPCC revoked the closure order for 90 days after the club submitted a bank guarantee of Rs. 20 lakh.  The club was supposed to submit an apply for consent to operate and submit adequacy and monitoring reports of the STP.

“There has not been much progress. We don’t have reasons to believe that they have applied for permission to use the bore wells they are using. We will send a reminder. Reinforcement of the closure order is a strong possibility,” DPCC’s environment engineer Siddhartha Gautam told HT.

The prestigious club, however, said it was doing everything that was needed. “The three-month deadline ends in October. We’re committed to meeting all pollution-control standards,” said a senior office-bearer of the club.

Delhi Golf Club’s members include the city’s most influential, powerful and wealthy. An application today may ensure a membership only after 40 years, and that too if the person passes a stringent set of conditions.

These 50-odd clubs are together consuming 10 million litres of water a day. As much as eight MLD is wasted. “Around 80 per cent of the water, after it is used, goes down the drain and not treated. We have told them to set up sewage treatment plants,” said a DPCC expert. 

“Once treated water is reused in irrigation of their massive parks, lawns and playgrounds, besides in toilets, the demand for fresh water would automatically come down,” he said.

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