The National Green Tribunal has pulled up the Delhi Jal Board for its failure to prevent and control bad odour from a Sewage Treatment Plant in Delhi's Kondli area. It has hence directed the Board to pay Rs. 5 lakh per month as cost to Central Pollution Control Board, till compliance. The amount shall be used for restoration of environment.
Observing that the Delhi Jal Board has been taking contrary stand by saying that small steps are sufficient to deal with the situation despite its earlier commitment to install an effective odour control system, the Bench headed by its Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel said:
"We do not understand why DJB is now shirking its responsibility and taking a contra stand that small steps taken are enough and no odour control system is required. This stand is against public interest and noncompliance of order of this Tribunal."
Furthermore, it said:
"It is clear that the DJB has failed to perform its obligation of preventing odour at the STP and only superficial steps have been taken to claim that odour has been controlled. The problem has been persisting since long but plea of pandemic is being taken to justify inaction."
The Tribunal was dealing with a plea concerning remedial actions to be taken for controlling the issue of bad odour from the said STP.
Noting that the matter was pending and being heard by the Tribunal since past two years, the Tribunal found the stand of the Delhi Jal Board to be disappointing.
An action taken report was filed by the DJB on 31 May 2021 stating that it has commenced Ferric chloride dosing on 17th May which has reduced the bad odour considerably.
On this, the Tribunal observed:
"Merely dosing of Ferric Chloride, Primary Thickener-A covering and some plantation can hardly be held to be adequate steps in the matter."
"Accordingly, in terms of order dated 23.02.2021, the DJB is held to be liable to pay cost of Rs. 5 lakh per month from 01.06.2021 till compliance. The CEO, DJB will be personally responsible for compliance," the Tribunal directed.
However it clarified that the amount of costs will be deposited with the CPCB to be utilised for restoration of the environment.
The matter will now be considered next on 28 October.
Title: RWA Society v. GNCTD