No industry can function sans effluent plant: SC

No industry can function sans effluent plant: SC

In an effort to curb release of untreated waste into waterbodies, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered that no industrial unit can function without having functional Primary Effluent Treatment Plants (PETPs).

The court directed the state pollution control boards (PCBs) to tell the discoms or electricity supply boards concerned to disconnect the power supply to the defaulting industrial units.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice J S Khehar directed the state PCBs to issue a common notice to all industrial units to verify whether they have set up PETPs as mandated under the legal provisions.

Inspection of units

The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said on the expiry of the three-month notice period, state PCBs should carry out inspection of the industrial units to ascertain the status of their PETPs. “If industrial units do not have functional PETPs, then they will not be allowed to function any more,” the court said.

It said the industrial units could resume functioning only after they made their PETPs functional. The apex court also asked the local or municipal authorities to set up common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) within three years after acquiring land and completing other formalities.

The states will have to submit reports with regard to setting up of CETPs to the bench of the National Green Tribunal.

The bench said local civic authorities could formulate norms to levy cess from users if they face financial crunch in running and setting up of CETPs.

The apex court had earlier issued a notice to the Centre, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the chief secretaries of 19 states, including Gujarat, on the plea filed by NGO Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti in 2012, represented by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, on the issue of pollution in waterbodies, including groundwater.

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