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| Last Updated:23/09/2020

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UP sugar mill polluting Ganga fined Rs 5 crore

 NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has cracked the whip on industries that have been polluting river Ganga. It has imposed a Rs 5 crore fine on Simbhaoli sugar mill and distillery unit and a fine of Rs 25 lakh on Gopalji dairy in Ghaziabad. It was hearing an appeal that alleged that the industries were discharging toxic effluents in Phuldehra drain which falls into Ganga through the Syana canal.

The application had also alleged that toxic wastes from industries were affecting Gangetic dolphins, turtles and other riparian species.

An expert member of the tribunal visited the site in March and pointed various shortfalls in the functioning of these units and concluded that they were a source of serious pollution.

"There is ample documentary evidence in the form of affidavits, inspection reports and analysis reports to show that Simbhaoli Mills is not only been a source of continuous pollution particularly surface and ground water but also failed to take precautions of its own accord. Thus, it has endorsed itself to incurring a liability for relief and compensation for causing damage and for restitution of environment in the concerned areas," the order said.

"There can hardly be any dispute that it is a polluting unit. It is also beyond controversy that this unit has operated without consent of the Boards from 1974 till the year 1991, thereafter, it committed default in compliance of the conditions of the consent right up to the year 2000. Even thereafter, it did not strictly comply with the conditions and directions issued by the respective Boards. This unit is a direct source of polluting River Ganga," the bench observed.

The Tribunal has fixed a compensation of Rs 5 crores on Simbhaoli Mills to be deposited with Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) and this amount shall be use for removal of sludge and all pollutants and preventing ground water pollution.

The bench had earlier directed UPPCB as well as Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to inspect around 1000 industries to check if they polluting the Ganga. The polluter pay principle that was imposed on two industries on Thursday may be imposed on all other industries in future.