More than 30 restaurants in the Hauz Khas area have been found to be operating without proper clearances, discharging effluents, drawing potable water and causing environmental hazards. This has prompted the National Green Tribunal to direct their closure till September 24.

A Bench headed by Justice P. Jyothimani said the order would act as an injunction against any new eating joint which comes up in the area. Responding to a petition filed by Pankaj Sharma, the Tribunal has noted that several restaurants have mushroomed in the area without obtaining the required consents under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Further, the Tribunal noted that of the 33 restaurants mentioned in the application submitted by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), seven are closed and show-cause notices were issued to the remaining ones. Observing that so many eating joints could not have “mushroomed” in the area without the knowledge of the DPCC, the NGT sought the presence of authority’s Member Secretary on the next date of hearing to answer “how long these restaurants have been allowed to continue to operate in the said area”.

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