The Allahabad High Court has expressed disappointment on the state of affairs of brick kilns and other industries running without adhering to environmental norms. During a hearing on a petition on Tuesday, the high court said that “it is made clear that in case this court is not satisfied with the response, it may proceed to withhold their salary.”
The court’s observation came on a contempt petition filed by Society for Voice of Human Rights and Justice which had moved court against respondents - Ghaziabad district magistrate and regional officer of the Ghaziabad district pollution control board.
The issue is related to the alleged violation of environmental norms and their continued operation by industries and brick kilns in Ghaziabad district.
The court observed that despite its previous orders related to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed previously by the petitioner “... industries are running without adhering to environmental norms with impunity, as is evident from certain photographs dated 29.4.2016 filed along with supplementary affidavit today (July 12).”
Directing the Ghaziabad district magistrate and regional officer of the Ghaziabad district pollution control board file their responses within three weeks, the court stated, “It is made clear that in case this court is not satisfied with the response, it may proceed to withhold their salary (sic).”
Earlier, the officials had submitted on June 30, 2015 that 314 brick-kilns running in Ghaziabad district were closed by the orders of district mining officer. A report to this effect was submitted by the superintendent of police (rural) to senior superintendent of police. However, the petitioner alleged that the brick kilns closed by the authorities have started their business.
The petitioner had also submitted photographs, alleged to have been taken in the month of April, 2016, disclosing smoke billowing from the chimneys of various brick kilns that were stated to be still operating in the district. On the basis of the other photographs, the petitioner also stated that dyeing industries were also discharging their effluent in the drain thereby causing contamination of ground water.
In its earlier direction over the PIL, a Division Bench had issued a categorical direction to the joint committee constituted by the district magistrate and pollution board regional officer to carry out periodical inspections in order to take appropriate action against any polluting industry in accordance with law.