NGT panel slams PPCB for inaction against industrial units dumping waste in Buddha Nullah
At a time when the municipal corporation (MC) is blaming the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) for its ‘failure’ to check dumping of untreated waste by industrial units into MC sewer lines, the monitoring committee of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has also slammed the PPCB for its inaction.
Members of the committee conducted a surprise check here on Friday and collected samples of the waste from eight dyeing and electroplating units. At one dyeing unit, the committee found no effluent treatment plant (ETP) and another had made an alternative route to pass untreated waste into the MC sewer lines. As per norms, a unit has to treat its waste at an internal ETP before releasing it into the MC sewer lines.
The committee, led by justice Pritam Pal Singh (retd), collected samples from units in the Focal Point and adjoining areas. As news about raids spread, panic gripped the area and many owners closed their dyeing units.
Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, who is also a member of the committee, said it was disturbing to find that PPCB officials were not even aware whether units had installed ETPs or not. He justified the claim of the MC that untreated industrial waste was flowing into sewers. Samples from dyeing units had been collected and PPCB officials asked to take required action, he said.
Seechewal said the treatment plant being run by the electroplating industry was not up to the mark and PPCB officials had been told to check its working. The PPCB had been asked to submit an action taken report and the next action would be taken after that report, he said. They would also apprise the NGT about the drawbacks of the PPCB, dyeing and electroplating industries, said Seechewal.
Quote of PPCB awaited
After the PPCB filed a criminal case against the MC, commissioner, mayor and six others in a local court for their alleged failure in controlling the Buddha Nullah pollution, mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu, in turn, accused the PPCB of not keeping a check on the industrial waste being dumped by industrial units into MC sewer lines.
The mayor had also alleged that sewer treatment plants (STPs) were not working properly due to the flowing of industrial waste into the STPs via sewers. They STPs, the mayor said, were meant for treating sewer waste only. He said industrial waste was flowing into the nullah through the STPs situated in Jamalpur, Balloke and Bhatian.
The mayor had threatened that the MC would snap sewer connections of dyeing units if they and the PPCB failed to set up the three common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) within the set deadline.
Samples collected from Avon and Hero cycles
Samples have also been collected from Hero Cycles and Avon Cycles and a few more industrial units involved in electroplating.
Seechewal said owner of one of the dyeing units did not open the door even when repeated requests were made by the committee and the PPCB officials. The committee has asked the PPCB to take required action against the firm.