Acting on stern directions from the Public Grievance Commission (PGC), the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Delhi Police and the local SDM have started cracking down on polluting industries in Mandoli here.
According to the Action Taken Report (ATR) filed by the SDM (Seemapuri) to the PGC on 10 May, a total of 11 polluting industries/factories have been sealed in the area during surveys conducted recently. The SDM, DPCC and the Delhi Police had also issued 31 challans to offenders for burning garbage, leaves, plastic, rubber, etc in a joint action.
The severe pollution in the area was highlighted by complainant Amarjeet, a resident of Ganga Sahay Colony, Mandoli. In his complaint to the PGC on 20 November 2015, he said, “The industries in the Mandoli Industrial Area have been releasing toxic fumes into the environment. The density of fumes starts increasing as the day progresses, creating a thick blanket of smog enveloping the area of over 6 sq km, and causing health hazards for lakhs of residents of the area.”
The complainant had also mentioned that his repeated complaints to the DPCC, Department of Environment (Govt of NCT Delhi), Deputy Commissioner, Factory Licencing (FL) Department, and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation went unanswered, which made him file a complaint with the PGC.
Taking cognizance of the matter, N. Dilip Kumar, member, PGC, in his first hearing in December last year asked the DPCC to take the lead in coordinating the matter with the MCD, local police and the SDM of the area. However, the commission was not satisfied with the survey done and the action taken by the special committee formed by it and thus had asked in its second hearing to register criminal cases against the polluting units. As per the surveys of the DPCC, there exist 173 polluting units in the Mandoli Industrial Area.
Dilip Kumar had said during the hearing, “Urgent action needs to be taken to solve the problem of pollution in the area. Evidence of pollution being caused by the industries needs to be collected and criminal cases should be registered and arrests made. The local DCP should form teams to crack down on the polluting industries. Electricity and water supply to the polluting units should be cut and cases should be booked by the DPCC immediately.”
Following this, a joint team cracked down on the polluting industries in the area, sealing several of them. The commission has advised the Secretary, DPCC, to organise surprise checks occasionally to ensure that the impact of the crackdown is not lost.