NGT is more strict for pollution norms , closed Sugar, Distillery units of Panipat
The sugar and distillery units were meeting fresh water requirements through a borewell, without obtaining a no-objection certificate from the Central Ground Water Authority. Pit for collecting treated effluent was overflowing. Press mud (sugarcane residue) and boiler ash was dumped in open. Excess bagasse (sugarcane residue) from the mill house was falling from a height resulting in air pollution. At the distillery unit, the housekeeping was poor and stagnant water was found at several places.
Taking a serious note of environmental violations, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered the closure of sugar and distillery units of the Panipat Cooperative Sugarmill until remedial measures are taken.
The bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, observed, “There are serious environmental violations in the functioning of both units. The norms under the Water Act, Air Act and the Environment Protection Act are also not being followed, which amounts to criminal offences.” “Groundwater is being illegally extracted which may seriously and irreversibly affect the environment,” read the order.
HSPCB TO ENSURE UNITS IMPLEMENTATION
With both the units and the sugarmill closed, the NGT directed the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) to ensure that the units can’t resume work until remedial measures have been adopted and the joint committee certifies this.
The orders were based on the findings of a joint team, comprising officials of the Central Pollution Control Board and HSPCB. The joint team was formed by the NGT following complaints of pollution by the sugarmill’s distillery and sugar units.
Though a closure notice was subsequently issued, the units had continued to function, causing air and water pollution. The NGT had then sought a joint status report from the CPCB and HSPCB.
Mr. Pradeep Ahlawat, managing director the sugarmill, said, “The order is about compliance and they (joint team) have suggested remedial measures to resume operations of the units.”
When asked if the mill will resume crushing operations this season, beginning in November, Ahlawat said, “Maintenance is underway and we will surely resume operations this season and ensure compliance of NGT orders.”
S. Narayanan, member secretary of HSPCB, said that the closure orders have already been issued for the distillery and it will be closed in a couple of days by the field staff and the units will be allowed to operate only after full compliance as directed by the NGT.
Source : Hindustan Times