Published On: Thu, Sep 8th, 2016

Sword hanging over 125 Haridwar hotels for dirtying Ganga – Times of India

HARIDWAR: The state Pollution Control Board (PCB) is contemplating action against 125 hotels in the city for dumping their effluents into the Ganga in clear violation of a National Green tribunal (NGT) order.”According to the order passed by the tribunal on August 19, it is mandatory for all hotels with 20 or more rooms to have their own sewage treatment plant (STP) or bio-digester so that no untreated sewage from them goes into the river,” PCB scientific officer SS Pal told TOI.

“All such hotels have been required through the order to take a no objection certificate (NOC) from the PCB. This is granted only if a hotel has set up its own STP or bio-digester, or submits a proposal for it along with an application for NOC,” he added.

The PCB recently asked the regional office at Roorkee to submit a list of hotels in Haridwar with 20 or more rooms. As regional officer Ankur Kansal said, a list of 125 hotels in this category was submitted to the PCB. All these hotels are allegedly flouting the NGT order as their sewage goes directly into the Ganga. “Another list of ashrams and dharmashalas in the category is also being prepared,” Kansal said.

According to Pal, subsequent to the NGT order of August 19, the PCB issued a public notice on August 27 informing institutions including hotels, industrial units and hospitals to set up STP or bio-digester in compliance of the NGT order and take an NOC from the PCB. A list of hotels required to follow the order has been obtained.

“We are consulting our legal adviser on action to be taken against hotels and other institutions which have failed to follow the order,” the scientific officer said. The defaulters will be issued show cause notice, to be followed by closure order wherever necessary.

“So far, 12 hotels in Garhwal and 15 in Kumaon have been sealed for flouting the NGT order,” Pal added.

“The PCB will pass a statutory order under the Water Act in case of all hotels individually to set up their STPs. Failure to comply with the order will lead to further action against them,” Kansal said.

In Haridwar, five hotels have already faced action from the PCB for flouting the order. These included Choitiwala and Trimurti hotels, which were sealed on August 2. Three others (Raj Delux, Sachin International and Trishul) were issued closure orders. But they went to court and were allowed time till August 27 to set up their STPs, which they did on time, after which PCB was informed, according to officials.

“A list of ashrams and dharmashalas which are covered by the NGT order is also being prepared and will be sent to the PCB,” Kansal said.

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