The National Green Tribunal has ordered closure of industries operational in "non-conforming" residential areas of Rohini in west Delhi. It has also slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 each on the Delhi government and others for their "defaults and inaction" towards infringement of rules.
The green panel said the units causing pollution, including unauthorised car workshops in violation of law, must be stopped with immediate effect, and asked for a report of action taken to be submitted before the tribunal within one month.
"Respondents are held liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 each for damage to the environment by their persistent defaults and inaction towards violations of rules and directions issued by the Tribunal.
"This amount should be recovered from the heads of the said respondents personally to be deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board within one month," the bench said.
The tribunal directed the Delhi chief secretary to call a meeting of the authorities concerned and seek an action plan to be prepared and implemented by a team comprising the DCP of the area, SDM and senior officer of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC). It noted that the said team must also conduct a public hearing on the spot at least once in every week.
"The chief secretary may also indicate persons accountable for such repeated default and failures, and take appropriate action under CCS (CCA), Rules, 1965 and submit the action taken report to the tribunal," it said.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said everyone knew that illegal activities were going on and that there was total apathy on part of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and the police authorities who appeared to be quite oblivious to such activities.
"The said authorities have merely shifted the responsibility from one to the other. According to DPCC, the responsibility is of the Delhi Police. According to the Delhi Police, the matter has to be dealt with by SDM under Section 133 of CrPC. This is nothing but avoiding the statutory and legal duties," the bench, also comprising Justice S P Wangdi, said.
The tribunal asked the chief secretary to send the compliance report by November 30 by e-mail and posted the matter for consideration on December 3.
The direction came on a plea filed by city resident N S Yadav for stopping of activities of servicing, repairing, denting, painting and junk dealing being carried out by various unauthorised car workshops and car mechanics in the area near and around Chaudhary Brahm Prakash entry gate of village Nahar Pur and near Bhagwan Ram Mandir Temple Complex, Block-E, Rohini, Sector-7.
According to the applicant, illegal activities are taking place despite complaints to the DPCC, which admitted the automobile servicing activities were being run in non-conforming areas, in violation of the Master Plan for Delhi 2021.