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Of 3,207 In State, Only 707 Has Sanctioned Building Plan & 155 ETPS

Chandigarh: Lack of coordination among various Haryana government departments, apparently due to de lay by urban local bodies (ULB) and town and country planning (TCP) department, is giving respite to thousands of dhabas on national highways that do not have in place adequate measures for disposal and treatment of sewage discharge and solid waste management. So far, action has been taken against only 66 such dhabas. This is despite National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s warning to the Haryana government.

Such dhabas dot the Chandigarh-Delhi, RohtakDelhi and Delhi-Jaipur national highways as well as state highways. A total of 3,207 dhabas, restaurants and roadside eateries have been identified by the state government. In the survey held in August, just before NGT issued orders to the state government, it came to light that only 707 had sanctioned building plans and 155 had effluent treatment plants (ETPs). While there was no such count for the oil and gas traps (OGTs) for eate ries operating from areas connected to sewage treatment plants (STPs).

While disposing off the complaint related to pollution caused by road side dhabas, the NGT had expressed displeasure over the action taken report (ATR) submitted by the Haryana government in the enforcement of standard operating procedures (SOPS) for dhabas as well as penal action against the Photo for representation violators of environment pollution act. On August 5, the NGT had asked the government to ensure strict enforcement of SOP determined by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The ball was set in motion in April 2019 when a person approached the NGT for action against the roadside dhabas on both sides of roads in Panipat and Sonipat districts. The NGT took cognizance and brought the roadside dhabas across the state on its radar.

It is alleged that due to lack of enforcement, the dhabhas are still polluting ground, water and the air with inadequate measures for disposal and treatment of sewage discharge and solid waste management.

“The matter has been considered in the last three years by several orders. It has been found that there is rampant violation of environmental norms by roadside restaurants and such other estab lishments in Haryana,” re ads the order passed by the principal bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.

Consequent to the orders, the district-level task forces comprising officials from DTP, ULB, Haryana State Control Pollution Board (HSPCB) and other departments, headed by additional commissioners deputy (ADCs), were formed. They were supposed to enforce the orders of execution of SOPS or closure and penal actions. in Officials pollution control board maintained that post NGT orders. 66 such dhabas and restaurants have been served the show cause notices. Similarly, the public notices have been issued in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Hisar, Rewari, Karnal, Jind and other districts.

“The SOP compliance could be possible when these units are registered. These are illegal units as they do not have any NOC from ULB and TCP. In fact, these two departments can raze or order closure. As there had not been any response, we served notices in Sonipat and Panipat,” said a senior official of HPSCB.

Efforts made to reach out to Arun Kumar Gupta, principal secretary of ULB de partment, who also heads the TCP failed. Similarly, TL Satya Parkash, director general of TCP, too, was inaccessible. However, senior officials in the Haryana government the privy to maintained development that government is continuously monitoring the development related to execution of orders by NGT and chief se cretary himself is reviewing the development.

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