Report on illegal discharge into Thirana drain from the Panipat refinery, Haryana, 23/04/2020

  • 23/04/2020

Final report of the Joint Committee of CPCB, Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) and CSIR-NEERI in compliance of National Green Tribunal order of November 26, 2019 in the matter of OA No. 738 of 2018 in the matter of Satpal Singh, Sarpanch, Gram Panchayat Singhpura Sithana, Panipat Vs Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Panipat Refinery. The report was dated April 23, 2020.

The matter related to illegal discharge into the Thirana drain from the Panipat refinery. The report informed the tribunal that HSPCB has granted revised Consent to Operate for the discharge of 255 m3/hr of treated effluent from PTA plant into Thirana drain with the condition that the industry would obtain permission for the discharge of the treated PTA effluent into the Thirana drain. IOCL had started discharge of effluent into the Thirana drain with effect from August 18, 2019. However, the refinery had not obtained permission from the irrigation department for discharge of effluent into the drain.

Further, during inspection of the Thirana drain on January 14, 2020, the Joint Committee observed that effluent was being discharged by IOCL Panipat Naphtha Cracker unit also. The regional officer, HSPCB Panipat has said that Consent to Operate was granted to the naphtha unit only for recycle and reuse of the treated effluent. No permission was granted for the discharge into the Thirana drain to the unit.

Water samples from the storm water pond of the naphtha unit and the Thirana drain were collected for analysis. The results of the analysis of both the samples showed high levels of BOD, COD and SAR. This showed that storm water was being contaminated with industrial effluent, the report said.

HSPCB has issued two show cause notices to the Naphtha Cracker Unit for non-compliance of conditions of consent to operate. The cost of damage caused to public health and environment, as calculated by NEERI was Rs. 92.40 crores.