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NGT fines hotels, malls, hospitals over rainwater harvesting

Taking several hospitals, malls and hotels here to task for not complying with its orders on rainwater harvesting, the National Green Tribunal Thursday imposed fines and issued warrants on many of them and their officials for not installing harvesting systems.



New Delhi: Taking several hospitals, malls and hotels here to task for not complying with its orders on rainwater harvesting, the National Green Tribunal Thursday imposed fines and issued warrants on many of them and their officials for not installing harvesting systems.

A bench, headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, also issued several bailable warrants against officials of the units whose representatives were not present in compliance with the notices issued to them.

The tribunal pulled up the executive engineer of Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital for not complying with its order of installing rainwater harvesting system in its premises.

"Reply has not been filed. The executive engineer of Public Works Department (PWD) submits that existing system has been made functional while new system will be installed by July 31. We impose a fine of Rs 25,000 each on the executive engineer and the medical superintendent of the hospital to be realised from their salary," the bench said.

The tribunal observed that it was thinking of imposing hefty fine on the hospital for non-compliance of its order but preferred leniency saying it will involve tax payers' money.

The bench issued bailable warrant against the medical superintendent of Sanjay Gandhi hospital and ESI hospital in Rohini, as no official was present during the hearing of the case despite notices issued to them.

The green panel warned the National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease that if joint inspection did not find its rainwater harvesting system in place and functional, then it would be liable to pay fine as environment compensation.

The tribunal also pulled up other hospitals including Rajan Babu Institute for Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis Hospital, Kasturba hospital, Jai Prakash Narayan hospital, Safdarjung hospital, Jaipur Golden hospital, Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute, Dharamshila Cancer hospital and Research Centre, Santom hospital and HAH Centenary hospital for non-compliance of its order.

It asked the director and medical superintendent of these hospitals to be present on August 7 and directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to inspect these establishments about the compliance of tribunal's order.

The green panel also imposed Rs five lakh on M/s Divine Infracon Pvt Ltd and Rs three lakh on M/s Suncity Project Pvt Ltd respectively as environment compensation for not having proper rainwater harvesting systems.

The bench rejected the contention of Chief Executive Officer of M/s MGF Development Limited Metropolitan Mall that at the time of inspection, the rainwater harvesting system was under the process of cleaning.

The tribunal said that a big firm like it had a greater duty to install the system and imposed a fine of Rs three lakh while directing DPCC to inspect its premises by July 31.

It also issued bailable warrants against the managing director of all those units whose representatives were not present in compliance of its order.

"DPCC shall do the inspection of all the sites and file a statement of about the compensation paid, not paid. Those who do not pay the compensation, notice be issued to them asking them to appear on August 7. A report also be submitted as how DPCC plans to utilize the environment compensation realized from defaulters," the tribunal said.

The panel's directions come after a status report, submitted by DPCC, said a number of five-star hotels, malls and hospitals are not complying with the rainwater harvesting systems and in number of cases where they have been provided, they are not satisfactorily operational.

Earlier, the green panel had directed CGWA, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and DPCC to conduct joint inspection and find out level of groundwater "in and around" erring malls and hotels.

The tribunal had constituted a joint inspection team of CPCB, CGWA and DPCC while directing them to check the status of rainwater harvesting systems in hospitals, malls,commercial complex, hotels and RWAs in Delhi.

The tribunal was hearing a plea by Vikrant Kumar Tongad who had sought directions to DMRC to "install proper rainwater harvesting system" on all its existing as well as proposed and under-construction metro stations, tracks and depots.

The green panel, however, had widened the ambit of the petition and incorporated various institutions such as government and private hospitals, hotels and malls.

On May 11, the tribunal had also imposed hefty fines on five-star hotels and other establishments for not having proper rainwater harvesting systems.

On May 18, the tribunal had imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on Hotel Excelsior (Shangri-La) while Eros Resorts Hotels Pvt Ltd (Double Tree by Hilton) and Crowne Plaza (Mayur Vihar) were imposed Rs 2 lakh each.

The panel had also imposed a fine of Rs 7.50 lakh each on Jaypee Siddharth, Piccadily Hotel while Tirupati Infraprojects Pvt Ltd (Indus Hotels & Spa) was imposed Rs 5 lakh.

It had also slapped a fine of Rs 5 lakh each on hospitals --B M Gupta Hospital Pvt Ltd, Indraprastha Medical Corporation Ltd (Apollo Hospital) Santom Hospital, and Jaipur Golden Hospital-- while Holy Family hospital was imposed Rs 3 lakh.

Among the malls/commercial complexes, Laxmi Buildtech Pvt Ltd and Lifestyle Builders Pvt Ltd was imposed Rs 5 lakh each while Upaj Buildcon Pvt Ltd was imposed Rs 3 lakh as fine.

Earlier, notice was issued to -- Asian Hotels Ltd (Hyatt Regency), Hotel Excelsior (Shangri-La) Jaypee Siddharth, Piccadily Hotel, Tirupati Infraprojects Pvt Ltd (Indus Hotels & Spa), Aman Hospitality (Kempinski Ambience), Eros Resorts & Hotels Pvt Ltd (Double Tree by Hilton), Eros Resorts & Hotels Pvt Ltd (Hilton) and Ibis Hotel.

Besides these nine hotels, NGT had also issued notices to 23 malls/commercial complexes including DLF Home Developers Ltd, DLF Retail Developers Ltd, Aditya Infra Developers Pvt Ltd, Aggarwal Plaza Pvt Ltd etc. 

From Zee News

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