Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding violation of pollution laws by Ashapura Group of Companies in District Kutch, Gujarat, 21/02/2019
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Veeral P. Chauhan Vs State of Gujarat dated 21/02/2019 regarding violation of pollution laws by Ashapura Group of Companies in District Kutch, Gujarat. It is alleged that in the process of manufacturing, waste of Bentonite is generated causing harm to the environment. It was alleged that on inspection, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) found violation of law and issued closure notice dated 26.07.2018 but the closure notice was revoked, without compliance of the pollution norms. NGT had directed the GPCB to furnish a report in the matter and accordingly a report was filed to the effect that though the unit was found to be non-compliant and an order of closure was passed, the same was revoked after the unit became compliant.
The NGT bench comprising judges Adarsh Kumar Goel, S.P. Wangdi and K. Ramakrishnan in its order categorically stated that "State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) cannot take lenient view even after noticing violation of pollution norms. Power of the SPCB is coupled with duty to take action. Wherever there is violation of pollution norms, the SPCB must recover compensation for the damage to the environment so that pollution does not remain a profitable activity, apart from taking any other action including prosecution". The Tribunal gives GPCB one month time to furnish a report citing the action taken by GPCB in recovering compensation and launching prosecution or other remedial steps.