NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to gather and submit information regarding compliance and non-compliance of effluent and sewage treatment plants (STPs) across the country. NGT has also asked the green body to evolve and environmental compensation structure for all non-complying treatment plans across India.
This comes after CPCB submitted a compliance report to the NGT in May 2020 in response to an order issued by the latter regarding pollution caused by non-complying wastewater, sewage and effluent treatment plants. According to the report, a total of 191 common effluent treatment plants (CETP) operate across India out of which, 63 do not comply with the standards set by the NGT and CPCB. Show-cause / closure notices have been issued to 22 non-complying CETPs; legal cases filed against 9 CETPs, and no action has been taken so far for the remaining 32 CETPs. A majority of the non-complying CETPs are located in Gujarat (17), followed by Rajasthan (11), Tamil Nadu (9) and Delhi (9). During the inspection, it was found that some of these CETPs were operating without any consent/license renewals.
According to the rules of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, environmental compensation can only be issued by the CPCB after it has issued direction to the non-complying units. This issue of environmental compensation regime for CETPs was discussed in February and March 2020. Based on the discussions held in the committee meeting, NGT asked CPCB to prepare and finalise a revised environmental compensation regime for non-complying CETPs. The CPCB, therefore, is now in the process of revising the EC regime for CETPs.
Nearly 82 new CETPs are under construction across various states. Strict enforcement of rules and regulations and levying an environmental compensation on violators can prove to be an effective way of controlling environmental pollution in India and elsewhere.