The National Green Tribunal on Thursday said the Malegaon administration has failed to take effective steps for closure of polluting industries and sought a status report on the issue.
Irked over “unsatisfactory state of affairs”, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the commissioner of Malegaon Municipal Corporation, District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police, the member secretary of State pollution control board, and the managing director of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd to appear in person on February 24.
“Though action has been taken, there was no effective closure of operations and the polluting activities were still continuing. There was need for coordination among departments,” the Bench said.
The tribunal’s observation came after perusing a report filed by a committee which stated that though action has been taken, there was no effective closure and the polluting activities were still continuing.
According to the committee, 185 of 190 units having facilities for plastic-related activities and 70 out of 125 sizing units are located in residential area.
No action has been taken to check/prevent entry of vehicles carrying plastic waste into Malegaon city area and unloading of the same, the committee said.
“Remedial measures for identified traffic congestion hotspots are implemented immediately, and solid waste management and sewage management plan are implemented expeditiously as early as possible but not later than the target period of February 2021 and December 2021,” the committee said.
Noting this, the tribunal said that time limit for solid waste and sewage management recommended by the committee is too long and needs to be advanced, in consistent with environment norms
“Compensation needs to be speedily assessed and recovered from the polluters, on ‘Polluter Pays’ principle, as already directed. The compensation should be adequate to meet the cost of restoration so that polluting activity is not profitable. We are of the view that it is necessary to interact with the key officers, after they fully acquaint themselves with the task to be performed,” the Bench said.
The tribunal was hearing a plea by Mohammad Yusuf Abdullah Shaikh and others seeking action against air pollution due to melting of plastic in the process of manufacturing “gitti” (recycled plastic granules) for use of plastic pipes at Malegaon.