Tribune News Service
Solan, October 19
An environmental compensation of Rs 1 crore has been levied on the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) operating at Kenduwal village in the Baddi industrial area by the chairman of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) for failing to comply with the laid norms and causing water pollution to Sarsa river.
The action follows a visit by the monitoring committee of the NGT on September 9 when it had detected irregularities in the functioning of the CETP.
The committee had detected glaring irregularities, including the effluents discharged into Sarsa river not meeting the prescribed standards of biological oxygen demand, total dissolved solids, total dissolved solids, sulphide and bioassay. This, the team found, was degrading the water quality of the river exorbitantly and also affecting its aquatic life.
The committee had recommended imposition of this monetary penalty with the direction that the money would be utilised for rejuvenation of the water quality.
The CETP management has also been directed to operate the plant with zero discharge liquid technology within six months and ensure no effluents were let out in the river. The CETP is also supposed to upgrade to zero liquid discharge in a time-bound manner.
The board chairman was also directed to revoke its consent to operate under the provisions of the Water Act. All the tankers collecting effluents from industries are supposed to be GPS-enabled with connectivity at the state board and the central pollution control board servers.
Installation of CCTVs for e-surveillance of its various components is also supposed to be done within 15 days. The online continuous effluent monitoring systems which was not found operational on the day of the committee’s visit is also supposed to be calibrated and made operational within 15 days.
Confirming the development, SPCB member secretary Aditya Negi said as per the directions of the monitoring committee of the NGT an environmental compensation of Rs 1 crore has been slapped on the CETP management and they have been directed to make the due modifications.
The state board has also granted approval for filing criminal complaint against the plant management for violation of the Water Act and Air Act before a Nalagarh court.
Notably, the CETP was treating effluent of 435 units such as textile, food, pharmaceuticals, soap, detergent, metal surface finishing, etc., and as against the designated capacity of 25 million litres per day (MLD) it was treating only 16.8 MLD effluents.
The notice assumes significance in view of the fact that Baddi industrial cluster has been rated adverse in the water index by the CPCB prompting the NGT to direct the state board to tighten the noose on polluting units. This is the first stern action on this plant ever since it became operational though slew of irregularities had been hitting headlines every now and then.
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