NGT slaps Rs 50 crore fine on Delhi govt for polluting steel units

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday imposed costs of Rs.50 crore on Delhi government for allowing polluting steel pickling units to run in the Wazirpur, Badli industrial area of North Delhi despite orders to shut them down. Steel picking is also a ‘prohibited activity’ under the Delhi Master Plan of 2021.

The NGT bench has now ordered immediate shut down of these units and directed the Chief Secretary, Delhi government, to constitute a three-member committee to fix accountability and submit a report to the Tribunal explaining how these units were permitted to operate.

According to document submitted to NGT in the past, there are close to 90 such units who also release effluents in Yamuna River. The NGT rapped the Delhi government, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation and special secretary, industries, Government of Delhi for allowing the units to operate. A four-member bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice AK Goel passed the order while hearing an execution application of All India Lokadhikar Sangathan, which had sought compliance of the NGT’s past order directing action against the steel pickling units.

The matter before NGT has been heard over a few years and despite an undertaking from Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the units were not closed down.

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