The Principal Bench of the NGT directed the Punjab PCB to take stringent measures to stop illegal polluting activities by the motor scraping units in Mandi Gobindgarh, Punjab. The Tribunal also directed to recover compensation on 'Polluter Pays' principle apart from any other statutory action.
The Original Application was for remedial action against illegal polluting activities by the motor scraping units in Mandi Gobindgarh, Punjab. The application was filed with regard to the report filed by the Joint Committee comprising CPCB, SPCB and the Municipal Council, Mandi Gobindgarh.
The Joint Committee was asked to check if the dealing of metal and other scraps was in compliance with Hazardous and Other Waste (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 apart from the provisions of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
The Tribunal observed that the Joint Committee filed the report on 27.02.2020 by inspecting only 4 units even though about 500 units are said to be operating.
"A report has been annexed indicating action against 19 units against whom complaints were received. Against one of the units, the closure has been proposed for the burning of scrap", the Tribunal noted while looking into the report.
The Tribunal opined that the report did not effectively deal with the serious problem and hence it is not satisfactory.
"More units should have been monitored having regard to the adverse consequences on the health of the inhabitants in violation of Fundamental Right to breathe clean air and to clean environment. Continuous and stringent action is required which has not yet been taken", said the Tribunal.
Accordingly, the Joint Committee has been directed to file a fresh and detailed report by covering a large number of units.
Further, the Tribunal directed the Committee to conduct a study regarding the carrying capacity of the area to sustain the activities of the motor scraping units. The carrying capacity in terms of the number of such units which can be sustained to give effect to the 'Sustainable Development' principle and to enable the regulatory authorities to ensure steps for preventing pollution.