The Delhi government has told the National Green Tribunal that municipal corporations have been directed to ensure that no impermissible industry is allowed to operate in the residential and non-conforming area of Delhi and needs to be sealed permanently.
The Delhi government said that a review meeting was held with concerned agencies and detailed discussions were held with regard to a comprehensive survey of industries functioning without a license in residential areas.
"The government has also issued a letter dated May 18 to the three municipal corporations with the direction to ensure compliance of the provisions of MPD 2021 while granting license or NOC to industrial units under the household category in residential and non-conforming areas of Delhi."
"Because of the force majeure (unforeseeable circumstances) due to advent of COVID-19 followed by lockdown, all industries had closed in Delhi with effect from March 22, 2020. Nevertheless, all three municipal corporations have been directed to comply with the direction of the tribunal and to ensure that no impermissible industry is allowed to operate in residential and non-conforming area of Delhi with the lockdown easing of curbs and need to be sealed permanently," the Delhi government told the tribunal.
The submissions were made in response to a plea to close down industries illegally operating in residential areas in violation of Master Plan of Delhi, 2021.
The tribunal had taken strong exception over the approach of the Delhi government and other authorities on the issue and said there is continued and
consistent non-compliance of the orders of the Supreme Court and the NGT.
It had said that authorities have failed to take adequate remedial action for preventing the polluting activities and recovering compensation for illegal operation of such industries.
With regard to closing 21,960 units already allotted alternative plots, it had noted that the closure is not complete and effective as many units have been found to be operative either at the same place or elsewhere.
The green panel had said that frivolous and untenable plea of the inadequacy of staff cannot be an excuse for the failure of discharge of essential governance functions and duties for uploading the rule of law.
"If authorities cannot implement law, they have no right to continue in official positions. Such plea is in breach of trust reposed in such authorities. If such is to be accepted, there will no rule of law and continuous desecration of the environment resulting in loss to the public health."
"More than 16 years have already gone by after the order of the Supreme Court and illegal operation of polluting industries in residential area is continuing with no accountability. Certainly it shows the incompetence of the heads of the Departments of Delhi Government as well as Municipal Corporations concerned for which action needs to be taken and dead wood removed and replaced by suitable competent officers who can deliver," the NGT had said.
The NGT earlier directed the Delhi government to immediately shut down 4,774 industrial units running in residential areas.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel had passed the order after perusing a report filed by an Oversight Committee, headed by former judge Justice Pratibha Rani, which said that show cause notices have been issued to 4,774 industries located in residential areas in different municipal corporations.
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