Chandigarh, September 26
On the directions of the Supreme Court, the UT Administration this evening unsealed a commercial complex of Berkeley Realtech Ltd, situated at Industrial Area, Phase I, 25 days after it was sealed over alleged violation of environment norms.
Taking up a petition by the complex owners, a Division Bench of the Supreme Court stated that they were informed that on August 31, sealing/closure order was passed and the building — Berkeley Square, Plot No. 24, Industrial Area, Phase-1 — was sealed the next day.
“The building will be unsealed after taking photographs by the authorities concerned within 36 hours. Water and electricity connections, if disconnected on account of violation of order dated August 25, 2023, passed by the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority, Chandigarh, which has now been set aside, will be restored within the same period,” ordered the apex court, while disposing of the petition.
The complex was sealed on September 1 on the directions of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) for allegedly violating environment norms. The order issued by the Member Secretary, CPCC, stated that during a surprise check carried out on July 14, it was found that the unit was running a commercial complex along with a service station and had installed two diesel generator sets of 320 KVA capacity each and two of 62.5 KVA each. The unit also offered denting and painting services and installed a paint booth on the third floor of the building. As per the norms, the unit was not supposed to install or use a diesel generator set without prior permission of the CPCC.
A show-cause notice was issued to the unit on July 14. It filed its reply on July 25, which was not found satisfactory, stated the order. It also said personal hearings were given by the CPCC to Berkeley Realtech on August 22 and 25, which were attended by Ranjeev Dahuja, unit director, but he was unable to give an explanation for the violations.
The CPCC had directed that Berkeley Realtech Ltd should close the unit with immediate effect and directed the authorities concerned to disconnect the water and power supply and the SDM to seal the complex. The CPCC had also told the unit directors to deposit an environmental compensation of Rs 3.75 lakh as per the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) within 15 days.
Order set aside
- Taking up a petition by Berkeley directors, the SC observed: “We are not inclined to interfere with the common impugned judgment, but clarify that all the contentions and questions are left open. Any observations made therein will be treated as tentative in nature and are not final and binding.”
What triggered the closure
- Berkeley complex found running service station with installation of diesel gensets without nod
- Offered denting and painting services, installed paint booth and generated hazardous waste
- Had failed to maintain the mandatory log book for effluent and sewage treatment plant
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