Sealing in Mayapuri is different from operations undertaken in the city over the past year. While Saturday’s action was carried out after directions from the National Green Tribunal (NGT), others were ordered by Supreme Court’s Monitoring Committee.
It also comes at a time when NGT had threatened action against officials if its orders are not complied with.
In May 2015, NGT ordered that all “illegally and unauthorisedly operating scrap industries in Mayapuri generating chemicals, oils and poisonous fumes resulting in air pollution, deaths and diseases at large scale” be shut.
Amid reports of non-compliance, in 2018 the Tribunal directed that a seven-member Special Task Force (STF) comprising representatives from CPCB, DDA, DPCC, DSIIDC, SDMC, District Magistrate and DCP be formed to stop illegal activities. This was to be monitored by the Chief Secretary.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee was supposed to comply with the order, but in a report submitted to NGT in January, it was shown that no fines had been collected from polluters. The report said 34 units were engaged in illegal industrial activity. NGT passed another order on March 11 seeking a report on action taken within a month.
The report, submitted April 4, says DPCC officials found no “substantial improvement on the ground”. “Roads were observed to be black by spillage oils by illegal handling of engines …,” it said.
NGT then said on Thursday: “We fail to understand why guilty are not being prosecuted in spite of more than five years of order of this Tribunal and in spite of undertaking given by Chief Secretary. Why electricity is being supplied for illegal polluting activities.” Rejecting an application against sealing by traders, it said, “We direct Chief Secretary, Chairman and Member Secretary, DPCC, to remain present with compliance report…”