New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal, which had earlier directed complete ban on plastic in Haridwar and surrounding areas, has again taken Uttarakhand government to task for proliferation of unauthorised industries and hotels operating there.
"Do you have a list of ashrams and guest houses? Are they registered or not? If someone terms them as ashrams and guest houses, can they be exempted from registration? What is the status of plastic manufacturing units? Are they running without consent? What action have you taken," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked officials of the state government.
The bench asked the state government and the pollution control board to "file a complete comprehensive list, in consultation with (Nagar) Nigam, of the hotels, ashrams and guest houses which are running in Haridwar, Rishikesh and upward. Let that list positively be placed on record of Tribunal by the next date of hearing" on September 28.
During the hearing, Uttarakhand pollution control board told the bench they had issued advertisements in newspapers stating that consent was mandatory for operating plastic manufacturing units.
To this, the bench said "the copy of the advertisement shown to the Tribunal does not show what action the Board would take in the event of default. Let corrigendum thereto be issued immediately and copy thereof be placed on record before the next date of hearing."
Earlier, the Tribunal had slammed Uttarakhand government over non-compliance of its orders relating to the ban on use of polythene bags in Haridwar, Rishikesh and surrounding areas.
Taking note of status report filed by local commissioner, the bench directed Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board to submit an affidavit stating whether consent to operate has been granted to the plastic manufacturing units in the state which is mentioned in the report.
The green panel had in July imposed a complete ban on use of plastic bags in the pilgrim cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh and announced a fine of Rs 5,000 as per the 'polluter pays' principle.
"Plastic will not be used for any purpose whatsoever i.E for serving food, commodities, packing items etc," the Tribunal had then said.