Rs 97 crore fine on Sonepat industrial units for illegal groundwater extraction and pollution

The action has been taken in compliance with the National Green Tribunal directions

Rs 97 crore fine on Sonepat industrial units for illegal groundwater extraction and pollution

Photo for representation only.

Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 22

It is raining fines in Barhi industrial area in Sonepat as 24 units have been asked to pay environmental compensation worth Rs 96.01 crore, for illegal groundwater extraction, while one unit has been asked to pay Rs 1.05 crore for failing to meet pollution norms.

The action has been taken in compliance with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directions.

An application was filed in the NGT in 2020 against 29 industrial units of Barhi, Sonepat. It was claimed that the units were discharging effluents in open drains resulting in diseases but no action was being taken by the statutory authorities including Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

The NGT sought a report from HSPCB.

The HSPCB informed the NGT this year, first on January 7 and then on March 4, that out of 29 units, 24 were found complying with pollution norms, and two units, M/s New Garment and M/s Generous Textile were non-compliant. Three units were found closed.

The closure order against M/s New Garment, which is involved in the washing of jeans, was issued on February 11.

Against M/s New Garment, Rs 1.04 crore environmental compensation was imposed, and HSPCB headquarters was informed on March 3 for the issuance of the order, while a show-cause notice was issued to M/s Generous Textile on the same date.

Also, show-cause notices were issued to 28 units for drawing groundwater without permission of the CGWB.

Against 24 units, the environmental compensation was calculated at Rs 96.01 crore and has been sent to Deputy Commissioner, Sonepat on March 3 for the issuance of orders and sealing of the borewell inside these units.

The compensation has been calculated as per a notification of CGWB, dated September 28, 2020, which was brought in compliance of directions given in NGT’s order in Shailesh Singh’s case on July 20, 2020.

The compensation against M/s Modern Dyeing Private Limited is Rs 17.89 crore, M/s Shadex Creations is Rs 15.17 crore, M/s Shri Sidhi Vinayak Tex Colour is Rs 8.70 crore, M/s Flora Dyeing House is Rs 8.68 crore and M/s Addingo Knit Creations is Rs 8.67 crore.

One unit has an exemption from the CGWB as their use is just 10KLD while three units were found closed.

On March 5, while disposing of the matter, the NGT directed, HSPCB to ensure regulation of groundwater extraction and cleanliness of the drain receiving the effluents.

Member Secretary HSPCB S. Narayanan explained, “It is DC who has to execute the environmental compensation orders regarding illegal groundwater extraction. Permission from CGWB is required for groundwater use by the units.”

“The process of taking compensation is on,” said DC Sonepat Shyam Lal Punia.

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