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Gujarat electricity plant in Bhavnagar operates without effluent treatment: Action sought

Environmentalist Rohit Prajapati; GSECL plant in the background 
Counterview Desk
Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) activists Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant have sought Government of India intervention to ensure that the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) should Immediately issue a Closure Notice on the state-owned Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited (GSECL) in Bhavnagar district, for not having the requisite Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) and Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) as per the Supreme Court Order dated February 22, 2017 in a Writ Petition filed by PSS.
In a letter to the Union environment, forests and climate change secretary, and copies to the Gujarat chief secretary and other senior officials of the state government, the activists, calling the GPCB and GSECL attitude “non-serious and nonchalant” attitude, said, the “unscientific approach” of the concerned authorities is harming life, livelihood and environment of the region.

Text:

The Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited (GSECL) plant, located at village Padva, taluka Ghogha, district Bhavnagar, does not have the requisite Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) and Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) as per the Supreme Court Order, dated February 22, 2017 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 375 of 2012 (Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti & Anrs V/s Union of India & Ors).
We are surprised that in such dire circumstances the GPCB has not yet issued the closure notice to the Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited (GSECL) in spite Order, dated February 22, 2017, of the Supreme Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 375 of 2012 (Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti & Anrs V/s Union of India & Ors)? The Supreme Court Order clearly states:
“4. […] We therefore consider it just and appropriate, to direct the concerned State Pollution Control Boards, to issue notices to all industrial units, which require 'consent to operate', by way of a common advertisement, requiring them to make their primary effluent treatment plants fully operational, within three months from today. On the expiry of the notice period of three months, the concerned State Pollution Control Board(s) are mandated to carry out inspections, to verify, whether or not, each industrial unit requiring ‘consent to operate’, has a functional primary effluent treatment plant.
“5. Such of the industrial units, which have not been able to make their primary effluent treatment plant fully operational, within the notice period, shall be restrained from any further industrial activity. This direction may be implemented by requiring the concerned electricity supply and distribution agency, to disconnect the electricity connection of the defaulting industry. We therefore hereby further direct, that in case the concerned State Pollution Control Boards make a recommendation to the concerned electrical supply and distribution agency/company, to disconnect electricity supply to an industry, for the reason that its primary effluent treatment plant is not functional, it shall honour such recommendation, and shall disconnect the electricity supply to such defaulting industrial concern, forthwith.”
The Supreme Court Order further states:
“13. We are of the view, that mere directions are inconsequential, unless a rigid implementation mechanism is laid down. We therefore hereby provide, that the directions pertaining to continuation of industrial activity only when there is in place a functional 'primary effluent treatment plants', and the setting up of functional 'common effluent treatment plants' within the time lines, expressed above, shall be of the Member Secretaries of the concerned Pollution Control Boards. The Secretary of the Department of Environment, of the concerned State Government (and the concerned Union Territory), shall be answerable in case of default. The concerned Secretaries to the Government shall be responsible of monitoring the progress and issuing necessary directions to the concerned Pollution Control Board, as may be required, for the implementation of the above directions...
“14. […] The concerned Pollution Control Board is also hereby directed, to initiate such civil or criminal action, as may be permissible in law, against all or any of the defaulters.”
Why are the concerned authorities not ready to implement the above-mentioned directions of the Supreme Court? Who all are responsible and accountable? We are attaching the copy of the Supreme Court Order for your ready reference with this letter, so that you can read and implement the Order, dated 22.02.2017, of the Supreme Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 375 of 2012 (Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti & Anrs V/s Union of India & Ors) in letter and spirit.
We feel very sorry to state that this non-serious and nonchalant attitude and unscientific approach of the concerned authorities as well as the company. All the concerned officials in will be fully responsible for the short-term and long-term consequences.
We expect your prompt and positive response in the interest of life, livelihoods, and environment. If you fail in your duties, you will, as the concerned authorities and individuals, will be collectively liable for present conditions and future consequences and procedures.

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