NGT refuses to quash closure notices issued by EDMC to dairy farms in East Delhi

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New Delhi, May 28 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal has refused to quash the closure notices issued by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation to dairy farms in Gharoli village located in East Delhi for causing pollution.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said if the dairies in question are to be allowed, it cannot be at the cost of public hygiene and health and can be only after the environmental norms are duly followed.

'If the dairies in question are to be allowed, it cannot be at the cost of public hygiene and health and can be only after the environmental norms are duly followed, including siting norms and carrying capacity of the recipient environment to sustain such activities without violating air and water standards. 'Only such number as may be found viable can be allowed. They have to take requisite Consents under the Water and the Air Acts. The dairies operating standalone or in clusters, are required to have Waste water treatment plant or Common Facility to treat waste water and management of dung,' the bench said.

The tribunal also directed the dairies are to comply with all other guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

'Till such compliance, the regulatory bodies – the EDMC, DPCC and the CPCB are free to proceed according to law in the matter of taking necessary coercive measures, as earlier directed. A joint committee comprising of the CPCB, DPCC and the EDMC may go into the surviving issues,' the bench said.

Advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for EDMC, opposed the application by pointing out that currently pollution is being discharged in the drain or on land and thus there was no option except to pass closure order to enforce the law. There is continued violation of environmental norms, EDMC lawyer said.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Virender Singh and 19 others seeking quashing of closure notice issued by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation and stay of the said closure notice respectively. The main contention on behalf of the applicants was that they have been in existence since 1976. 'The applicants have been paying electricity bills, license fee and renewal fee for the license to operate the dairies. They are getting water supply from private operators, in absence of water supply by the DJB. 'They are in the process of installing bio-gas plant for which land is required. They will not discharge dung into the sewer or contribute to the air or water pollution if amiable solution is found by the Tribunal,' the bench said. PTI PKS RKS RKS