The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has allowed the conditional reopening of 578 textile units engaged in dyeing and printing of cloth in Pali district of Rajasthan , with an assurance that any direction passed by the tribunal has to be complied with. These units had been shut for the last eight months for flouting pollution norms.
The Jodhpur bench of the tribunal, comprising Justice Jawad Rahim and member B S Sajwan, permitted the reopening of these industries.
The Bandi river of the district was being polluted due to the untreated effluents of these units. This has polluted the underground water and affected agricultural activities in the region. The NGT has also taken into consideration the negative effects on the employment and livelihood of workers due to the closure.
The NGT also ordered ordered the setting up of a monitoring committee which includes representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board, the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board and IIT Jodhpur, directing them to submit a report on the next hearing.
This committee will carry out inspections and surprise checks of the industries and Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETP). They will ensure disconnection of electricity where the industries do not have any consent to operate or they are not connected with CETP or do not have their own Effluent Treatment Plants (ETP), said the counsel for one of the respondents, Pali Water Pollution Control Treatment & Research Foundation Trust.
Besides this, the tribunal has also directed the constitution of a district-level task force to ensure that no industry functions illegally or in violation of the pollution rules and norms. The task force will also chart out a surveillance mechanism and take punitive measures against defaulting units.
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