Green tribunal orders new fee system for operational nod to hotels
The green court directed the DPCC to get the fee structure approved from the Delhi government before notifying the rates and the date from which they would become applicable.delhi Updated: Sep 10, 2017 23:38 IST
The National Green Tribunal has asked the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to reconsider its fee structure for granting consent to operate (CTO) to industrial plants, including hotels and restaurants.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said the Section 25 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, stipulates that the state government fee, and not the pollution control board, determine the fee.
The green court directed the DPCC to get the fee structure approved from the Delhi government before notifying the rates and the date from which they would become applicable.
“We dispose of this application with a direction to the DPCC to reconsider the entire fee structure and its approval from the competent authority in the government of NCT Delhi.
“Nobody has the jurisdiction except Parliament alone to exempt any class of industry to which the provisions of the Act would not be applicable. The DPCC has no jurisdiction to exempt. However, the process of grant of consent can be defined by the Board in exercise of its powers,” the bench said.
The order came as the NGT disposed of a plea filed by Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners’ Association challenging the powers of DPCC to fix and charge consent fee without any notification.
The petitioner, an association of guest house owners, contended that guest houses and hotels were separate entities and the former did not have any kitchen or restaurants on its premises.
It had opposed the DPCC’s demand for a consent fee for the past 15 years from these establishments while also pointing out that the fee had been increased by nearly 100 times.
The association had also submitted that there was no requirement of consent under the Water and Air Act for setting up of a guest house.
As per the Water Act, 1974 and Air Act, 1981, it is mandatory to obtain consent to operate (CTO) from respective state pollution control board prior to commencement of the production activities. The process for obtaining CTO involves making an application in a prescribed format to respective state pollution control board along with required documents and scrutiny fees. It is followed by physical inspection of the site to verify the compliance and implementation of the conditions of the consent to establish issued by the pollution control board.