Home / Politics / Policy /  SC asks industrial units to set up effluent treatment plants within 3 months

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed industrial units across the country to set up effluent treatment plants within three months.

The court said industrial units without functional primary effluent treatment plants will not be allowed to run after the stipulated time.

“State pollution bodies will ask discoms (distribution companies) to disconnect power for industries that do not comply," the court said.

The court also directed states to build common effluent treatment plants within three years. A bench headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar directed that industrial units and states periodically apprise the National Green Tribunal of the progress made.

Civic bodies in states have been directed to set up zero liquid discharge plants and include real-time monitoring of waste treatment within six months from then.

The court’s orders came on a public interest litigation filed in 2012 by non-profit Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti which sought directions to control industrial pollution. “Under no circumstances should any effluent in excess of norms allowed flow into any water body or seep into the soil," the petition said.

In January, the apex court had summoned the chief secretaries of at least 19 states for not having filed the state governments’responses on time.

“It seems that all these orders fall on deaf ears and the State is not at all serious in following them. Our experience over last few years show that most of these judicial directions are not enforced," said Manoj Misra, convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, a non-governmental organization working for the rejuvenation of the river Yamuna.

The estimated sewage generated in India in 2015 was 61,948 million litres per day against an available treatment capacity of 23,277 million litres per day.

A spokesperson for Dabur India Ltd, the maker of Hajmola candies and Vatika oil, said the firm has an environment sustainability mandate which requires all its manufacturing units to have effluent treatment plants, adding, “We treat water, recycle waste and converted it to bio fuel to generate steam to run our plants."

A spokesperson at Bajaj Auto Ltd said the company has effluent treatment plants at all its facilities.

Ravi Krishnan in Mumbai contributed to this story.

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