Published: Tuesday 29 February 2000

In the continuing drive against polluting industries, members of a special vigilance team raided and sealed about 18 units in Vishwas Nagar, Azad Nagar and Krishna Nagar areas of East Delhi recently. The units were found discharging extremely poisonous effluents into the Yamuna.

Acting on the directions of the Supreme Court and the subsequent orders of chief secretary Omesh Saigal, the team, led by Sub-divisional Officers (Environment), A V Premnath and Y V V J Rajshekhar, raided 18 residential premises only as units in these areas continue to operate illegally, discharging untreated effluents. None of the owners of the units had installed effluent treatment plants ( etp s).

None of the units in these areas figure on the list of polluting units drawn up by the Delhi government nor were any of them ever inspected by any of the officials.

Among the seven electroplating units sealed, four had etp s which were non-functional. Electroplating units are highly polluting and release heavy metals like chrome, zinc, copper, lead and even cyanide.

Two service stations in East Azad Nagar were also sealed as they did not have etp s and were releasing a mixture of grease, oil and suspended solids into the drain leading to the Yamuna. Many of the larger service stations have already installed etp s but the smaller ones which conduct a greater volume of business are the main violators.

On the other hand, the state government has still not decided what to do with nearly 5,000 industrial units which had not paid their contribution for the installation of Common Effluent Treatment Plants ( cetp s). The Supreme Court had observed on September 14, 1999 that the units will pay their contribution to the cetp societies within one month.

The raiding team also found that a majority of these units were operating on unauthorised power connections.

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