National Green Tribunal
Textile units in Pali city continue to release polluted water into the Bandi river, violating a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order staying their operation.
On October 3 last year, the NGT stayed the operation of about 800 textile units after environmentalists moved the tribunal over pollution of the Bandi river.
The water resources department recently exposed secret operation of some units. In a letter to the regional officer of the Rajasthan Pollution Control Board on March 17, executive engineer Ramnarayan Chaudhary said some textile units in Pali were releasing polluted water into the Bandi, a seasonal river of western Rajasthan.
The river water is stored in Nehda dam, about 40km from Pali city. Choudhary said, “Chemical water is reaching the Nehda dam through Bandi river.”
The dam remains filled to its full capacity though water stored during the rainy season was released for irrigation. “This makes it clear that water released from textile units in Pali is reaching the dam,” Choudhary said.
The water resources department tested the water quality. “The water in the dam is of no use for consumption and irrigation as its quality has deteriorated,” the executive engineer said. “Closure of textile units is just an eyewash.”
The quality test reports are stunning, said Mahaveer Singh Sukarlai, an environmentalist who went to the NGT over Bandi river pollution.
“The TDS (total dissolved solids) of the water stored in the dam after the rain was recorded at 560 PPM (parts per million); it has now risen to 2950. The electrical conductivity of the water has increased to 6.3 from 1.7,” Sukarlai said.
Around 200 million cubic feet of water has been polluted though the state government focuses on Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan, environmentalists said.
Rajeev Pareek, regional officer of the Rajasthan Pollution Control Board, said a team has been formed to keep an eye on the operation of textile units.
“Electric and water supply to eight textile units, found violating the NGT order, was snapped. Twelve more such units would be deprived of water and electric connections,” Pareek said.
“Supply of three-phase electricity to the industrial area will be stopped soon so that the textile units cannot operate secretly.”
*This story first appeared on Hindustan Times
JODHPUR: The National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) circuit bench of Jodhpur has ordered the closure of 739 textile units in Balotra and its surrounding areas of Jasol and Bithuja till July 9. It has also ordered the trust operating the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) to renew the Consent to Operate the plant and obtain the hazardous waste disposal authorization from the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board.
The orders by the tribunal comprising judicial member UD Salve and expert member DK Agarwal followed a joint CETP inspection report by the Central Pollution Control Board and Rajasthan Pollution Control Board submitted in the court on Friday in pursuance of the order by the tribunal on March 19.
The report said that the CETP has not been functioning in adherence to the norms laid by the pollution control boards as far as the Consent to Operate and disposal of hazardous waste of the industries is concerned.
The joint report has also recommended installing adequate capacity RO plants immediately with a view to reuse the treated water in the member units and procure land for the evaporation of RO rejects.
A report had been submitted to the Central government by the CETP trust but the trust has not received sanction for the same. Keeping this in mind, the tribunal has also directed the MoEF to expedite the process so that the CETP trust could install the plant sooner.
Besides the tribunal has also directed the “Prabodhan Samiti”, chaired by the district collector to regularly monitor the CETP and address shortcomings with regard to its operation and compliance of the rules.
The tribunal has also sought an affidavit from the district collector to the effect that the water being used by these industries is not being drawn from the areas notified as Dark Zones.
A similar report on the sources of water to the textile industries in Jodhpur and Pali has also been sought by the tribunal on Thursday. This report is to be submitted on July 9.
Besides, the tribunal has also ordered closure of those units in Pali, which have been operating without renewal of Consent to Operate from the Pollution Control Board.
**This post first appeared in Times of India here.