Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal operation of marriage halls, nursing homes, hotels in Banda, Mahoba and Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh, 24/07/2020

  • 24/07/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Ashish Kumar Dixit Vs State of Uttar Pradesh & Others dated 24/07/2020.

The matter related to action against illegal operation of marriage halls, nursing homes, clinics, hospitals, commercial complexes, hotels and other commercial establishments without requisite prior NOC/Consent to Operate from the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) in the Districts of Banda, Mahoba and Chitrakoot, in clear violation of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The NGT in its previous order of July 15, 2019 had noted that the UPPCB had pleaded lack of staff for its failure to "discharge its statutory responsibility even if it may result in lawlessness." The Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh was asked to review the situation and furnish a report in the matter.

On July 24, 2020 when the matter again came up before the NGT - it was seen that the Chief Secretary had not filed a report and the UPPCB report was far from satisfactory. The report of the State PCB proposed to spend the environment restoration fund inter alia on establishment of pollution control rooms which the tribunal said was in a way a capital investment. What was required in terms of orders of the Tribunal was to spend the environmental restoration fund for the purpose it was meant for - restoration of the environment such as strengthening vigilance mechanism, setting up of laboratories, for monitoring of environment, coordination with the District Magistrates to prepare District Environment Plans, hiring of experts and consultants, undertaking remediation and study of contaminated sites among others.

The state PCB was directed to relook at its plan with the help of CPCB. Plan should be finalized with the approval of CPCB within two months, the order said. All other State PCBs and PCCs may also prepare similar action plans for restoration of environment and implementation of District Environment Plans, in coordination with CPCB. CPCB was also asked to prepare a plan for utilization of funds available with it.