The National Green Tribunal has directed over 70 budget hotels situated near the Indira Gandhi International Airport, which were earlier sealed by the Delhi Government, to move applications before the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) accompanied by documents to resume operations while complying with the norms.
The hotels were sealed for allegedly operating without obtaining permission from civic bodies, police authorities and DPCC.
A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the directions after the Hotels and Guest Houses Association, Mahipalpur, filed an affidavit saying they would voluntarily close down and file fresh applications before the DPCC to obtain a consent to operate.
The Bench applied the “polluter pays” principle in the case, while pointing out that the hotels had operated in violation of all environmental laws and without licence from the Municipal Corporation and permission from the Central Ground Water Board and Delhi Jal Board.
The fine imposed on the hotels and guest houses in terms of Section 15 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, will be used for restoration of environment in the area. The NGT also directed hotels with over 50 rooms to pay Rs.5 lakh, those with more than 25 rooms Rs.2 lakh and with less than 25 rooms Rs.1 lakh as compensation.
Further, the Tribunal directed the DPCC, Sub-Divisional Magistrate and police to ensure that none of the units operate commercially till they are granted consent to operate by DPCC in accordance with the law and subject to compliance of the directions of the tribunal.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation counsel, meanwhile, said the requisite permission could be given to the hotels only after they obtained water connections and installed sewage treatment plants. The DPCC counsel assured the Bench that the applications would be dealt with expeditiously in accordance with the law.
The hotels were allegedly operating without obtaining permission from the civic bodies, the police and DPCC