The Hush Post: The National Green Tribunal has ordered closure of 19 tanneries for discharging pollutants including heavy metals into drains in Punjab’s Jalandhar district. The NGT had constituted a high powered committee to inspect 61 industries and directed it to prepare a complete and comprehensive report on tanneries. The report looked into the source of water of these tanneries, consumption of water, whether any flow metres to the conveyor belts have been fixed and if they have permission from Central Ground Water Authority.
“We direct that the 19 industries which according to the Punjab Pollution Control Board are non-compliant and are polluting, to be closed,” the order read.
“They would not be permitted to carry their manufacturing or any other tannery activity unless they submit appropriate application for obtaining the consent of the Board,” the bench said.
However, Punjab Pollution Control Board chairman Kahan Singh Pannu said that the PPCB would file a review petition with the NGT since the matter is already being reviewed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to avoid mix-up of directions.
The directions came on a plea filed by local residents Darshan Singh and others, living in Chamiyara village, alleging that tanneries in Jalandhar district were discharging untreated effluent containing various pollutants like heavy metals into the drains which joins river Satluj. The plea claimed that numerous complaints were made to the Pollution Control Board but no appropriate action was being taken against the industries.