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NGT says polluting industries not allowed in residential area, orders health survey in Malegaon

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 July 2019, 16:05 IST

Polluting industries cannot be allowed in a residential area and authorities have to enforce appropriate regulatory measures, NGT has said while constituting a panel to undertake health survey in and around Malegaon, Maharashtra.

The National Green Tribunal said that wherever polluting activities are found, steps have to be taken to stop them, recover compensation and restore the environment.

The tribunal noted that Malegaon is a densely populated city and has a huge industrial activity which includes red and orange category of industries.

It noted that Girna river receives huge pollution from activities in Malegaon and use of plastic wastes by these industries is a contributor to the damage to the environment.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel formed a joint committee comprising representatives of Ministry of Environment, Forests, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), state pollution control board and the Malegaon Municipal Corporation.

It directed the committee to undertake health survey and the carrying capacity assessment of the area and assess Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index in and around Malegaon for deciding the permission for operation of polluting activities.

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"The committee may make an assessment of the damage to the environment and public health in the last three years and may consider the air quality of the area. It may visit the site after public notice and hear the members of the public who may choose to appear and ascertain the status of actual closure of the units on record and recommend preventive safeguards and remedial action to be taken having regard to the ground situation.," the NGT said in a recent order.

It directed the District Magistrate to provide necessary security to the committee and sought report within two months by e-mail.

The matter is listed for next hearing on October 15.

The green panel passed the order after perusing a report field by CPCB, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the municipal corporation.

According to the report, 185 units were involved in the plastic recycling, 146 units were operating without valid consent, 107 sizing units were operating using plastic as fuel and action was taken against those which were operating without valid consent and using plastic as a fuel in boilers.

The NGT said that MPCB was conscious of the rampant pollution and still failed to act and there is nothing to show that any compensation has been recovered for the massive polluting activities from the units which are declared to be the polluters.

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"Cost of damage to public health and environment needs to be assessed and recovered from polluters and pending such final assessment, interim compensation needs to be recovered which should be deterrent. Actions of polluters causing diseases or deaths should not go unpunished in a civilized society governed by rule of law," the tribunal said.

It said that MPCB as well as other authorities have failed to comply with the 'sustainable development' and 'Precautionary' principles required to be applied by every regulatory authority.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Mohammad Yusuf Abdullah Shaikh and others seeking action against air pollution due to melting of plastic in the process of manufacturing 'gitti' (recycled plastic granules) for use of plastic pipes at Malegaon in Maharashtra.


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First published: 16 July 2019, 16:05 IST