Pollution board struggles to recover Rs 2 cr fine from erring Faridabad units : The Tribune India

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Pollution board struggles to recover Rs 2 cr fine from erring Faridabad units

Imposed Rs 4.07 crore penalty on polluting establishments in 18 months

Pollution board struggles to recover Rs 2 cr fine from erring Faridabad units

Untreated chemical waste discharged by dyeing units in Faridabad. File photo



Tribune News Service

Bijendra Ahlawat

Faridabad, July 10

The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) here is yet to recover Rs 2.49 crore penalties that were imposed on polluting industrial and commercial units, also understood as environment compensation, in the past 18 months.

Although a penalty of Rs 4.07 crore was imposed between November 1, 2022, and April 30, 2024, only an amount of Rs 2.58 crore was deposited by violators, leaving the rate of non-recovery at 36.6 per cent, according to sources in the department.

“The delay in the recovery of penalties could be aimed at benefiting erring industrial units. Besides, the intention of the authorities also seem doubtful as the environment compensation may get written off, if the units are shown as dismantled or non-functional,” claims Faridabad resident Varun Gulati, who has lodged numerous complaints against illegal dyeing units operational in the district.

Gulati further alleged that several of the ‘sealed’ or ‘closed’ units tend to resume operations at other spots, while owners escape the penalty by showing these as dismantled or closed after fines are imposed.

“The policy instrument of environment compensation works on the Polluter Pay Principal,” said a retired official on condition of anonymity. He said while the overall objective of the policy was to protect the environment, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has empowered the Pollution Control Board authorities to lay down the methodology to assess and recover compensation for damages to the environment and utilise such amounts through action plans for the protection of the environment.

In 2022-23, the Haryana State Pollution Control Board had recovered a fine of around Rs 1.38 crore from eateries in Faridabad city on charges of violation of pollution-related norms.

Eateries and such commercial/industrial units are required to follow several norms, including setting up of sewage and effluent treatment plants, on their premises. These units are allowed to operate only after acquiring the Consent to Operate (CTO) approval. It is claimed that over 60 cases regarding such penalty or legal action have been pending in the Environment Court/NGT.

A local resident, Narender Sirohi, who lodged a complaint regarding the violation of pollution norms last year, said the problem of improper waste disposal remained an issue of concern for locals.

HSPCB Regional Officer Sandeep Singh said action against polluting units was taken as per the norms of the department.

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#Environment #Faridabad #Pollution


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