Committee report on containing pollution in Delhi, 15/01/2020

Final report by the oversight committee in compliance of the directions of the National Green Tribunal (18/07/2019, 05/08/2019, 19/11/2019).

The report dealt with various issues like:

  • Industrial units operting in residential and non-conforming areas of Delhi,
  • Air pollution due to storage, handling and burning of plastic waste in agricultural field in Jahangir Puri
  • Construction of TSDF for hazardous waste on build, operate and transfer basis at Bawana, Delhi for a period of 25 years
  • Upgradation of roads and drains in Mayapuri and check on illegal industrial activities.

In a meeting held on October 30, 2019 mention was made of 'bhattis' of potters and it being closed down. The closure had left serious impact on the life and earnings of the potters. The chairperson (Pratibha Rani, Former Judge, Delhi High Court) wanted to know whether any NGO was associated to assist them in paper work for obtaining PNG connection or to provide them subsidy in view of their poor economic condition.

The committee recommended the need to sensitise potters about the need to switch over to approved fuel like PNG and also to provide them subsidy as well as assistance in paper work. During inspection of various industrial areas, it was noticed that PNG pipelines have been fixed but not commissioned. "Thus, it may be due to various reasons other than financial problems that even the industries were not able to switch over to PNG," the report added.

It was recommended that the bhattis, which have already been sealed, should be unsealed on the condition that within the stipulated time, the potters would swtich over to approved fuel. This would help the potters, who are financial weak to earn their livelihood till arrangements are made by the concerned authorities to enable them to switch over to approved fuel.

With respect to the issue of air pollution being caused by dumping of plastic waste on agricultural land, around 10766 tonnes of plastic waste had been cleared and sent to waste to energy plant. Also, PWD drains in Jahangir Puri was freed from encroachment and 800 tonnes of plastic waste removed.

The final report mentioned that steps for construction of TSDF for hazardous waste on build, operate and transfer basis at Bawana, Delhi for a period of 25 years have been taken. A door to door survey of 17 industrial areas connected to CETPs had been completed by a joint team of DSIIDC and DPCC and 1966 units were found to be non-compliant. Action had been taken against such units and Rs. 5.655 crores deposited by the defaulters on account of realization of environmental compensation till December 10, 2019.

It was recommended that traders assocition of Mayapuri Industrial Area should be associated by the concerned agencies to feel free to bring any violation, encroachment, illegal activity like scraping, dismantling of vehicles being carried out, immediately to the notice of concerned agencies in writing.

Other recommendations included the following:

  • Discom can be shouldered with the responsibility to inform the civic bodies about the units functioning under the garb of household industries but consuming more than the permissible load of 11 kW under the connection taken for non-domestic purpose 
  • Labour Department should be activated to conduct regular check on industries employing child labour or violating other beneficial legislations enacted for the welfare of workers.

Note: Report uploaded on March 13, 2020