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| Last Updated:03/04/2014

Latest News(Archive)

Latest News

There’s another roadblock in waste treatment plan take-off, 24 March 2014


Srinagar: Observing it a brazen violation of its directions, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked Pollution Control Board as to how it allowed operations of hotels without STPs or non-functional STPs in hotels at Gulmarg. The court ordered re-sealing within a week of the hotels that have not installed STPs or whose STPs are not functional.


“We are inclined to issue contempt notice to Arun Kumar Tiku, Member Secretary Pollution Control Board. However the learned Advocate General assured that action in accordance with law would be initiated against all defaulters and the STPs of those hotels found non-functional will be sealed within a week,” a division bench of Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi said in its order.


The court passed the direction after observing the status report by the PCB on STPs of Gulmarg hotels as ‘misleading’.


Terming the report far from satisfactory, the court said a causal look at the report would show that eight hotels out of 14 do not have functional STPs while with other six hotels the STPs were found not operational due to snowfall and frozen conditions.


Pulling up the Pollution Control Board for permitting operations of hotels without STPs, the Court has made it clear that the hotels without STPs or nonfunctional STPs should be sealed and their commercial operations should be suspended.


The court directed the Secretary of the Board to ensure that whenever STPs are functional their performance should be assessed by testing the treated and untreated effluent.


“We also direct that capacity of each STP to cater the solid waste and run off from the hotel should also be assessed and a report in this regard be placed before the Court,” said the division bench, adding the needful as directed shall be done within a week and a detail report in this regard shall be filed before the Registrar Judicial before March 28.


“If the needful is not done, then secretary PCB shall remain present in person before the court on next date of hearing to answer as to why a false affidavit was filed and why contempt proceedings shall not be initiated against him,” the court directed.


In respect of Category-B hotels which have 19 or less than 19 rooms which are required to have the facility of soakage pit and septic tank, the Court has directed the PCB to file report on discharge and treated effluent after observing that no reports have been filed on the effluents after their examination in keeping with the previous directions.


In its status report the PCB said out of 35 hotels falling under category A, STPs have been installed in 11 hotels. It said in five hotels STPs are functional while in six hotels STPs are non functional or are under installation.


The PCB has been directed by the court to clarify before March 28 whether commercial operations of five hotels alone has been permitted or all 11 hotels have been permitted to operate where the STPs are either non-functional or under installation.


The report said in category B out of 99 hotels covered at Pahalgam, 55 hotels were found to be operating without having consent from the Board and their commercial activities were suspended. “It is seen that out of these hotels, 37 hotels have reported compliance by seeking consent claiming that they have installed soakage pits and septic tanks in their hotels, as such 18 hotels were non functional as they did not comply with the directions of this Court,” the court said.