The MP Pollution Control Board has filed a court petition against Indore municipal commissioner and other civic officials for violation of environmental norms at Khajrana slaughterhouse.
The pollution watchdog is seeking action against the officials for effluent discharge from the slaughterhouse.
The petition was filed under Section 24 (prohibition on use of well or stream for disposing polluting water) and Section 25 (failure to obtain the Board's prior consent for any facility likely to discharge sewage or effluent) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
MPPCB wants action against the commissioner and other officials under Section 43 (contravention of Section 24) and 44 (contravention of Section 25/26 of the Act) in the petition filed on February 19. Both sections are punishable with a minimum imprisonment of 18 months which may extend up to 6 years.
The local court, however, directed the MPPCB to obtain governmental sanction for the prosecution as the commissioner is a Class I officer.
"We contended that Section 48 of the Act grants the Board the power to proceed with action against government officials without seeking permission from the government," said KC Gupta, advocate for MPPCB.
He said the Board filed petitions against violations of the Water Act at two other slaughterhouses, Gadi Adda and Sadar Bazar, on the same day that the Khajrana slaughterhouse petition was filed.
Tests on effluent (wastewater) samples taken from the Khajrana abattoir revealed alarmingly high biological oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solid levels.
High BOD levels eat away oxygen in water leading to putrefaction and, eventually, growth of toxins that may affect the health and even life of humans, animals and plants.
The tests, conducted by the MP Pollution Control Board state board analyst (HT has a copy of the report), showed that BOD levels in the effluent samples stood at 8,600 milligrams per litre, against the maximum permissible level of 1,900.
As reported by Hindustan Times in September 2013, the MPPCB gave the green signal to the regional office to initiate legal action against the municipal commissioner for violating provisions of the Water Act, 1974.
The go-ahead came from then MPPCB member-secretary RK Jain in the wake of a letter sent by the Regional Office on March 12.