Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding CETP at Roha industrial area, Raigad district, Maharashtra, 31/03/2023
Order of the National Green Tribunal (Western Zone Bench, Pune) in the matter of Aryavart Foundation Vs M/s Ria CEPT Co-Op Society Ltd. & Others dated 31/03/2023.
The matter related to CETP at Roha Industrial area, district Raigad. The CETP at Roha Industrial Area earlier was in possession of M/s. RIA CETP Co. Op. Society Ltd. and later handed over to Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
As “concentrated pollution load" was being received at inlet of CETP, the MPCB issued various directions including closing down of industries which were grossly violating disposal standards to the inlet of CETP.
The MPCB granted consent to establish for upgradation and expansion of CETP on March 26, 2015 and directed MIDC to take over the non-conforming CETPs namely "TEPS CETP, D-CETP Chemical, Additional Ambernath CETP, RIA CETP, PRIA CETP and Lofe CETP located in MIDC areas".
The court was also informed that the rehabilitation and upgradation work of Roha CETP is going on, which was planned to be completed and commissioned by January 31, 2023. This date has now been shifted to April 30, 2023.
The counsel for the applicant drew attention of the court to the site visit report dated January 20, 2021 conducted by the the MPCB wherein it is recorded that “after repetitive instructions to CETP incharge to inform the list of defaulting industries, whereas CETP Authority failed to comply the same”. In addition, the report said that mechanical bridge, secondary clarifier, sand filter and carbon filter were found not in operation.
The report also mentioned that filter press was found not in operation and "sludge handling was found poor in condition". Also, no information till date has been collected as to who were the defaulting industries.
The NGT was of the opinion that a lot of ambiguities were there in the case that needed to be clarified before arriving at a final conclusion. Only then the court said can responsibility be fixed for paying of environmental compensation for the period for which the CETP was not functioning according to consented parameters.
The tribunal also expressed its dissatisfaction with the joint committee report and said the report does not indicate as to from which date, the violation has started happening and till when. Thus, the bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh of the NGT, Western Bench directed the joint committee to submit an additional report in the matter before May 26, 2023.