NGT forms committee to check pollution during functions at banquets, hotels
Taking note of pollution and traffic congestion during functions at banquet halls, farmhouses and hotels here, the National Green Tribunal has formed a committee to stop activities that lead to degradation of the environment
New Delhi: Taking note of pollution and traffic congestion during functions at banquet halls, farmhouses and hotels here, the National Green Tribunal has formed a committee to stop activities that lead to degradation of the environment.
The green panel has also asked the committee to prepare an action plan in this regard within a month. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said marriage halls are violating norms by organising weddings and other functions without any permission. The green panel formed a joint committee with representatives of municipal corporations, the Central Ground Water Authority, the Delhi Jal Board, the Delhi Police and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. The committee, which has to meet at least twice a month, will be headed by the Delhi government's urban development secretary, the tribunal said.
In its first meeting, the panel has to prepare an action plan and lay down time lines for sewage disposal, groundwater extraction, rainwater harvesting, municipal solid waste management, systems for groundwater recharge. It will also have to form a plan to check air quality due to traffic congestions and noise pollution because of use of DJ sets. The tribunal said the committee would compile data of all such places where functions, including marriages, take place. The data should be published and appropriately regulated, it said. "Regulate noise level at above places or per laid down norms. This includes regulation of DJ sets, loudspeakers and crackers etc.
Compliance of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, and sewage discharge, including decentralised waste processing facilities, installation of CCTV camera, GPS system in garbage collection vans etc. "Regulation of extraction of groundwater as per applicable guidelines, sealing of tube wells, including those installed for swimming pools in violation of law, need for reuse of water for flushing, plantation or gardening," the bench said. The NGT said the action plan must involve all the stakeholders, particularly students and senior citizens. The committee will have the authority to close venues flouting norms and remove every illegal structures, it said. "The committee will also look into allegations of whether members of the applicant are running swimming pools by illegally drawing groundwater without requisite valid sanctions and drawing of groundwater from critical or over-exploited areas, without any mechanism for groundwater harvesting and recharge.
"If so, remedial action must be taken forthwith," the bench, also comprising Justice S P Wangdi, said. The tribunal also appointed former Delhi High Court judge justice S P Garg to oversee the working of the committee. "The chief secretary of Delhi will provide all the requisite logistic support and assistance for functioning of the oversight committee. Facilities, if any, already provided may also be used for this purpose," the bench said while posting the matter for consideration of report on March 8, 2019. Advocate Kush Sharma appeared for the Delhi Development Authority in the matter.
The tribunal said bore wells dug by banquets and farm houses, including that of the applicant, are required to be sealed, after ascertaining availability of permission from the authority concerned and compliance of conditions of recharge and use of water being for domestic or drinking purpose. "If ground water is used through tube wells for swimming pools in violation of the law, supply of such swimming pools from the tube wells must be forthwith stopped. "It is further made clear that re-use of water, after being disinfected as per norms, can be used for swimming pools and such water thereafter, may be used for flushing, by installing double piping system, or utilised for plantation or gardening," the bench said.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Westend Green Farms Society alleging that banquets and marriage halls operating in Mahipalpur and Rajokri near Indira Gandhi International Airport were causing vehicular congestion and environment pollution. The applicant, a society of 170 residential farm houses at Rajokri, is aggrieved by violation of environmental laws by commercial establishments operating as restaurants, hotels, motels or banquets, along the National Highway No. 8 Expressway (Delhi-Jaipur), in the vicinity of the petitioner. It said the activities of the said establishments cause massive traffic congestion on account of unauthorised parking of vehicles and huge gatherings for weddings or other functions.