Power distribution companies storing hazardous e-waste have come under the lens of the NGT which has ordered inspection of their premises here after a plea alleged these were causing massive air pollution. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to jointly inspect areas where such material is stored and submit a status report.
Watch What Else Is Making News
It also issued notice to the AAP government, BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, DPCC and others while seeking their reply before March 30.
“Issue notice to the respondents…In the meanwhile, DPCC and CPCB shall conduct a joint inspection at the places referred to in the application and report to the tribunal as to the handling of the hazardous waste and e-waste management and the manner in which the activity is being carried on as stated in the application,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The order came on a plea filed by Delhi resident Balbir Singh, also general secretary of DESU Mazdoor Sangh, alleging violation of e-waste rules by the power distribution companies and sought directions on the disposal of all hazardous material from their premises.
The plea claimed that air conditioners, water coolers, refrigerators and other electrical equipment, including PVC cables, were being dumped in the grid sub-stations and in open places of their offices which are not meant for disposal of such e-waste.
Advocate Siddhartha Singh, appearing for the petitioner, said that the power companies were also violating the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 by illegally extracting ground water on a very large scale as regular the Delhi Jal Board connections have been closed and around 90 per cent of their sites illegally extract millions of gallons ground water for commercial purpose.
“The respondents are also violating provisions of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act as pollution is very high at various sites because of melting and cutting of the transformer with gas cutter, burning of transformer oil, wood for using coal tar and other toxic material which creates volatile organic compounds (VOCs),” the plea said.
The petition deals with several premises including 66 KV grid sub-stations at I P Extension, Dilshad Garden, Sonia Vihar, Patparganj Industrial Area, Punjabi Bagh, Sriniwaspuri and Okhla and many other places.