Jharkhand High Court on Monday directed automobile dealer Premsons Motors to shift its workshop from a residential area of the capital to the outskirts. The firm was given a year to adhere to the order.
At present, Premsons has its workshop in upmarket Kanke Road, where it repairs and paints vehicles. Paint fumes are believed to be carcinogenic and known to have an adverse effect on humans.
The matter was brought to the notice of the court by Kanke Road resident and senior doctor S.S. Narnoly. The petitioner said the company was operating a motor workshop in the heart of a thickly populated residential area in violation of building bylaws and norms prescribed by the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board.
Narnoly had in 2006 sent a letter to the then Chief Justice M. Karpaga Vinayagam informing about the workshop. The high court had then initiated a public interest litigation on the basis of the letter. The company was sent a notice, following which its representatives appeared to explain that no pollution norms were being violated.
Meanwhile, other residents of Kanke Road also petitioned the high court, informing about the difficulties they faced due to the workshop. The denting and painting work carried out on the workshop premises caused air and noise pollution, the petition said.
The case was then transferred to a single bench, which referred it back to the division bench. The division bench headed by Chief Justice Prakash Tatia passed the 58-page judgement on Monday. The judgement also contained excerpts of Supreme Court orders in similar matters, where companies had been directed to move their workshops and units from residential areas.
Counsels for Premsons pleaded that officials of the pollution board had inspected the premises and given a clean chit to the effect that no toxic fumes were being emitted from the workshop. The court was, however, not satisfied with the arguments and said automobile dealers have their workshops outside city limits and hence Premsons Motors should also shift its workshop out of the city.