Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding violation of environmental norms by Nectar Life Sciences Limited, village Haibatpur, tehsil Dera Bassi, District SAS Nagar (Mohali), Punjab, 05/01/2024

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Shalbhjit Singh Vs State of Punjab dated 05/01/2024.

In the application, the grievance was against the industry M/s Nectar Life Sciences Limited (a pharmaceutical unit) discharging highly polluted chemical effluents in the agricultural fields causing damage to the crop, land and other incidental issues.

The court had earlier constituted a joint committee which in its report, July 15, 2023 found that the unit was non-compliant of many pollution norms. However, no violation was found by the committee when it came to illegal discharge of chemical effluent into agricultural fields.

Accordingly, the tribunal on July 17, 2023 had directed the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to ensure that the industry operates on zero liquid discharge (ZLD model) by taking necessary action to ensure that there is no discharge of polluted water into the open land or any water bodies.

The latest PPCB report stated that waste water of unit-1 was found filled upto brim level. The industry was not found complying with the decision of hearing held on September 1, 2023 before the Chairman of PPCB. Thus, SPCB had decided to renew the consent to operate for a short period only upto January 31, 2024 by imposing certain conditions.

The court was informed that PPCB had encashed the bank guarantee amounting to Rs. 15 lakhs for violation and fresh bank guarantee of Rs. 25 lakhs has been submitted by the unit. The committee constituted by PPCB has also found that the industry was not achieving ZLD practice in its unit. Counsel for the PPCB said that sample analysis report of the samples taken from the unit is awaited. After that a fresh report will be filed.

The NGT directed the PPCB to carry out water audit and submit the water audit report as also the water flow chart of the industry and also the sample analysis report of discharge of water from the unit by whatever source. The report will also disclose the manner of disposal of sludge by the unit in question and quality of groundwater around the industry. PPCB has been directed to file the report within a period of six weeks.