Seventy-nine businesses operating near Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary without the required environmental clearance have been served notices to shut down immediately. In compliance with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Rajasthan Pollution Control Board (RPCB) has sent notices to businesses situated in the Vishwakarma Industrial Area (VKI) and RIICO Rajasthan land. The board has slapped a total penalty of Rs 7.88 crore on 87 industrial units, which includes the aforementioned 79, for operating without proper clearance.
Vaibhav Pancholy, an advocate, said, "Inside the Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary, RIICO developed factories without environmental clearance, violating the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and the Pollution Protection Act. The NGT's penalty and direction to close these factories will be a milestone in protecting the sanctuary and the environment."
In 2022, a plea was submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) concerning the unauthorized start of industrial units without approval from the Pollution Control Board. Following the petition's hearing, the NGT established a Joint Action Committee to investigate and compile a report on the matter.
The committee tasked with the inquiry comprised representatives from both the forest department and the pollution control board. Their investigation revealed that all the industrial units in the area were operating without the necessary permissions from the board. Additionally, the committee identified a serious environmental concern: numerous units were discharging polluted wastewater into a drain, causing substantial harm to the surroundings.
Following a recent meeting, the committee has taken action by issuing notices to 87 units and imposing a penalty of Rs 1.34 crore on them for environmental damage. Simultaneously, RIICO Limited has been served a notice for a penalty of Rs 6.54 crore in connection with the same case.
An official said, "The committee report was presented in NGT Bhopal on Wednesday. After submitting the report, the court has given the date of December 13 for the next hearing. Although today, RIICO had submit- ted a demand in the court to review the penalty order, the court refused and said to hear the matter in December 13.”
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