Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding remedial action against violation of environmental norms by Shadilal Distillery & Chemical Works, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, 11/02/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Vinit Kumar Vs M/s Sir Shadilal Distillery & Chemical Works Pvt. Ltd. & Others dated 11/02/2022.

The application seeks execution of NGT order, February 23, 2021, wherein the Tribunal directed remedial action against violation of environmental norms in the operation of distillery unit of M/s Sir Shadilal Distillery and Chemical Works in district Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh including reducing capacity as per sustainable development principle and fixing accountability for the past violations on polluter pays principle.

It is stated in the execution application that inspite the NGT order, no remedial action has been taken - the unit is still operating without reducing the capacity by 50 per cent from 150 KLPD to 75 KLPD, as a result the lagoons are filled with untreated coloured effluent more than consented storage capacity. The unit is covering some of the lagoons with sand which absorbs the spent-wash much quicker causing large-scale contamination of groundwater. And till date, the drain which was carrying a substantial amount of sludge has not been de-sludged.

The applicant also said that the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board had conducted an inspection, August 8, 2021 and gave report, August 9, 2021 finding discharge of effluents in the drain near the unit. Compensation of Rs. 30,000/- per day has been imposed from August 8, 2021 without considering the past violations.

The NGT in its 25 page order said that Sir Shadilal Distillery & Chemical Works has been violating environmental norms which include violation of ZLD condition by discharging effluent into drain as well as disposing effluent on earthen land. The project proponent has to be held accountable on polluter pays principle. And the compensation assessed does not cover all the non-compliance, including failure to develop green belt, the NGT order, February 11, 2022 read.

The NGT directed the industry to pay @ 2% of its annual turnover i.e Rs. 50 crores. The amount has to be deposited with the CPCB within two months. The amount has to be spent on restoration of the environment in the area including the waterbodies - Mansurpur drain and the pond as per an action plan to be prepared jointly by the CPCB, State PCB and District Magistrate, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh.