The National Green Tribunal,a special fast-track court to handle cases pertaining to environmental issues,has ruled that no fresh environmental clearance should be granted to new industrial units or for expansion of existing units in Noida without its consent.
In order to safeguard the environment and restrict the pollution,both air and water including hazardous waste,we direct that no further environmental clearance shall be granted to any of the new industrial units nor any operating industry shall be permitted to expand in Noida… without obtaining prior permission from this tribunal, a bench of tribunal headed by its chairperson Justice A Suryanarayan Naidu said.
The tribunal had earlier issued notices to the Ministry of Environment and Forests and other authorities on a petition filed by Noida resident Sanjay Agnihotri who had sought a direction to restrain grant of fresh permission for establishing new industrial units in Noida.
In his petition,Agnihotri had written that due to unregulated pollutants his right and the rights of his family to a healthy environment was being compromised.
The said area namely NOIDA has over the years developed enormously,putting high degree of stress on the already scarce environmental natural resources. The extent of pollution being caused to water,ground water and air pollution has reached such an extent that the MoEF,Government of India in its list of critically polluted area has listed NOIDA at No. 12, the petition stated.
The tribunal,in its order issued on Wednesday,noted that in pursuance to the notice issued by it earlier,the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority did not appear before it and the reply filed by CPCB did not satisfy the requirements of law.
Taking into consideration the grave nature of allegations and lackadaisical attitude exhibited by respondents… we are constrained to direct the Member Secretary of CPCB and the Chairperson of New Okhla Industrial Development Authority or any other responsible official of NOIDA to remain present in the court on the next date of hearing and apprise the tribunal with regard to the allegations leveled, the bench stated. The matter will come up for consideration again on May 8.
The tribunal also directed the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) to conduct a spot inspection to collect industrial effluent from polluting units,analyze the same and submit a report on the next date of hearing on May 8.
The matter being very serious,UPPCB is directed to conduct spot inspection on war footing and submit their report, the bench directed.
In addition,the tribunal directed the CPCB to conduct an air quality survey in residential areas located within 15 km of the Noida border,like Mayur Vihar and Vasundhara Enclave,and produce the data derived.