Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding discharge of drug industry waste into Sirsa and Satluj, Himachal Pradesh, 22/07/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Veterans Forum for Transparency in Public Life Vs State of Himachal Pradesh & Others dated 22/07/2020. Prayer in this application was to direct remedial action against discharge of waste in common effluent treatment plant (CETP) at Baddi by Acme Life Sciences, Nalagarh and Helio Pharmaceuticals at Solan to prevent pollution of rivers Sirsa and Satluj.

According to the applicant, the CETP was not connected to pharmaceutical units at Barotiwala and Nalagarh who are discharging their effluents directly into the rivers. It was further stated that even after treatment in ETP/STPs, pharmaceutical ingredients may still be coming out from the industries unless ETP/STPs are specialized for the purpose. Also the present CETP was not designed to neutralize active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). The treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDF) does not receive sludge generated from the industrial units at Nalagarh.

The industries located at Baddi area are generating 20779 KLD of industrial effluent, out of which 17894 KLD was being treated at CETP and remaining 2885 KLD was being disposed of by the occupiers directly into river Sirsa. There was no existing sewerage system in Baddi Barotiwala Nalagarh (BBN) area and no demarcation in residential and industrial area.

Presence of Ciprofloxacin in the concentration of 296.1 ug/l was found on chemical analysis. Concentration of Ciprofloxacin in the effluent discharge of M/s Acme Life Sciences work out to be 13455 times of the prescribed limit.

In response to the application, the NGT directed a joint Committee of CPCB, State PCB and District Magistrate, Solan to look into the above issues and take further action as may found necessary. A factual and action taken report needs to be furnished to the Tribunal within three months.