The steel manufacturing plant of Bhushan Steels and Strips Limited in Ghaziabad, which had suspended production last week following an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), resumed work on Wednesday after another order by the tribunal.
Last week, the NGT had directed for the closure of the plant, for a period of four weeks, over a petition moved by activist Shailesh Singh. He had contended that the unit was overusing groundwater and discharging effluents.
Sunil Vaid, general manager from Bhushan Steels and Strips at Ghaziabad, said, “We submitted an application before the tribunal that was heard on Wednesday. After the tribunal allowed us to do so, we resumed production in our plant that was shut earlier. Officials from the pollution control department will also conduct an inspection and submit a report before the tribunal.”
“We have not estimated the production loss yet,” he said.
In the hearing on Wednesday, the NGT said in its order, “After hearing the counsel appearing for the parties, particularly the stand taken by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), we permit this unit to operate for a period of three weeks initially. The unit shall run to its optimum capacity within one week from today.”
The NGT also directed for an inspection by a joint team of UPPCB and Central Pollution Control Board officials, along with a senior person nominated from IIT Delhi, from next week.
“The joint inspection team shall give a complete and comprehensive report on whether the unit is compliant and non-polluting. Further, it would take samples from the inlet and outlet of the effluent treatment plant (ETP) as well as from where the effluent is being discharged into the municipal drain,” the court said.
The NGT has directed that the analysis samples should be tested, separately, by UPPCB, CPCB and IIT Delhi, and the reports should be submitted before the tribunal on the next date of hearing.
Earlier, the petitioner had contended that the unit was extracting a high quantity of groundwater for industrial use for which it did not have permissions from the Central Ground Water Authority.