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Following NGT order, 22 units shut in Ghaziabad for polluting Hindon river

The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has shut down 22 of 26 units in Ghaziabad that were said to be polluting river Hindon as well as contaminating groundwater

delhi Updated: Aug 19, 2018 05:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
NGT,Hindon River,Ghaziabad
Although Ghaziabad houses nearly 68 units, 26 were identified by the UPPCB, Lucknow, to be polluting the Hindon river, according to a board official.(HT Photo)

The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) has shut down 22 of 26 units in Ghaziabad that were said to be polluting river Hindon as well as contaminating groundwater, in accordance with the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) orders.

Officials of the regional office of the pollution board said that action is being taken against the remaining four units. They added that the units are mostly involved in engineering, iron and steel, electroplating, polishing, textile and dyeing, food processing, pharma and tannery industries.

“In Ghaziabad, 22 of 26 units have been closed — their electricity connections snapped and sealed. Action is being taken in case of the other four. This is being done as per the orders of the NGT. Although Ghaziabad houses nearly 68 units, 26 were identified by the UPPCB, Lucknow, to be polluting the Hindon,” a UPPCB officer said.

“We have issued show cause notices to the others and asked them to improve their pollution monitoring and treatment of effluent discharge,” the officer said.

The units that have been closed down are located in Tronica City, Mohan Nagar, Meerut Road, South Side GT Road and Bulandshahr Road industrial areas.

The orders of the tribunal had come in wake of a petition filed by the Doaba Paryavaran Samiti. The petition had been filed after Dr Chandravir Singh, a retired scientist, claimed that the groundwater in six districts of western UP was contaminated; a claim substantiated after test results indicated the presence of heavy metals in groundwater.

During a hearing on August 8, the tribunal ordered the closure of 124 industrial units polluting the Hindon and its tributaries flowing through the six districts of western UP as well as the prosecution of their owners.

Industrial associations in Ghaziabad have expressed their disappointment at the move. “The closure is going to affect nearly 7,000-8,000 people. The owners of the units closed down will move the NGT. They have already told district officials that they do not use heavy metals that were supposedly found on their premises during an inspection by the tribunal-directed committee. We will also be approaching the UP chief secretary over the issue,” Anil Gupta of the Ghaziabad Industries’ Federation said.

The committee of experts had inspected nearly 317 units in the vicinity of the catchment area of the Hindon and covered six districts — Ghaziabad, Saharanpur, Shamli, Baghpat, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar — upon the directions given by the tribunal in January, earlier this year.

The tribunal in its August 8 order, also emphasised the need to reverse pollution in the river and directed that steps be chalked out to punish those responsible for causing pollution.

The steps, the NGT said, should include industrial units initiating prosecution and recovering the cost of damage to the environment, besides rehabilitating the victims of pollution.

First Published: Aug 19, 2018 05:29 IST