The National Green Tribunal on Monday ordered for the third time that industries polluting in violation of state norms in Noida be shut down immediately and the member secretary of the state pollution board personally appear for the next hearing.
Of 69 factories a gamut of manufacturers from clothes and handbags to electronics the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board counsel told the NGT that only six were brazenly violating environmental laws. Though the last two NGT orders had called for their closure,the counsel said they had issued them notices on their status. Aside from those six,two had closed on their own,19 were violating laws but were starting to comply and the rest were up to code,the counsel said.
Why are you giving notices? Dr Gopal Krishna Pandey,the expert member of the bench,said. There should have been immediate closure.
The NGT had stated during the last two hearings that any industries violating environmental,water or air pollution laws should be shut down. Pandey had said during the hearing on Monday that most of the violations were for using substances such as plastic to heat their boilers,which end up releasing noxious chemicals into the air. Other issues such as where the companies dump their waste have also been brought up in other hearings.
But the counsel for UPPCB said,We cant just go and close the industries. Then he assured that the six factories would be closed if they do not start to comply.
Justice V R Kingaonkar said the Member Secretary of UPPCB must attend the next hearing to ensure it starts complying with his orders,also requesting a thorough analysis of action taken.
Justice Kingaonkar also told the counsel for applicant Sanjay Agnihotri,a resident of Noida,that he should consider whether a private expert agency is required to be appointed, to carry out inspections.
The case has been going on since January 2012 because Agnihotri was worried about air pollution and other environmental issues coming from rampant industrialisation. In April 2012,the NGT ordered the Ministry of Environment and Forests to stop giving environmental clearances to any new industrial businesses,which is still in effect.
The next hearing is scheduled for August.