NGT threatens to shut Okhla waste plant

  • Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 11, 2013 11:07 IST

The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday warned the Jindal Group that its waste-to-energy plant in south Delhi could face closure if it did not improve pollution-control measures in three weeks.

The tribunal gave the order while hearing an application that claimed the plant was causing serious environmental pollution resulting in health hazards to residents living near the plant.

The application claimed there was no proper segregation of solid municipal waste before it is burnt in the plant.

“The firm will in three weeks ensure that all pollution-control norms are adhered to. On May 28, we had asked the firm running the plant to consider setting up a waste segregation plant. Apparently, it has not been done as yet. The firm will ensure automatic and proper segregation of waste before its disposal in the plant,” the tribunal said.

“In the event of the project proponent now defaulting in compliance, the tribunal would be compelled to direct the closure of this industry,” the tribunal said.

“A team will inspect the plant once the deadline of our orders ends and file a report by October 10 when the matter is heard next.

Firm’s executive director Rakesh Kr. Agarwal will be personally responsible for executing the directions. In the event of default, he will be liable to face action,” the tribunal said.

Pollution control authorities have in the past inspected the plant and found pollution levels were above permissible limits.

A group of residents of Sukhdev Vihar in Okhla, who have filed the application, have been saying that the plant burns waste and releases harmful ‘dioxins’ into the air.

Municipal bodies are supposed to segregate wet waste for composting, pick out recyclables and send only non-hazardous, dry waste to this plant.

But residents allege this hardly happens; the job left to “illegal” rag-pickers.

Timar pur- Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd is operating the plant that has the capacity to process 1300 tonnes of waste every day and generate 16 MW of electricity.

“The plant has environmental clearance by the ministry of environment and forests. The Supreme Court had approved the project technology but not the site,” the tribunal said.


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