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Pollution clamp on hotels, eateries

Watchdog issues 30-day deadline to seek no-objection certificate, warns of closure

By VIJAY DEO JHA in Ranchi
  • Published 21.05.18

Ranchi: Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board has decided to crack down on hotels and restaurants operating without its no-objection certificate to stop unabated poisoning of the city's air and water.

In a public notice issued in vernacular dailies on Saturday, the board has asked 200-odd establishments to obtain the clearance within 30 days or face punitive measures.

The board has hinted at similar action against the vehicle servicing industry, another potential source of air and water pollution, in the next phase.

"Every hotel and restaurant requires clearance as described under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. But, the laws are seldom followed. In Ranchi, only four or five hotels have the NOC. Hence, we have decided on rigorous implementation of the rules," member-secretary of JSPCB Rajeev Lochan Bakshi told this newspaper on Sunday.

Once an application for pollution clearance is received, a technical team will visit the spot and inspect provisions to control water and air pollution, the member-secretary said.

"Hotels discharge kitchen waste and sewage in large quantities. These must be treated before being released into mainstream sewerage and drainage system. Every hotel must have an incinerator to safely dispose of leftover food, which can otherwise pollute the air," he said.

Bakshi warned that all hotels and restaurants found running without the mandatory NOC after a month would not only be shut down pending legal action, but their owners might also face penalty and imprisonment.

According to the notice, a hotel/eatery can apply online for consent to establish (CTE) and consent to operate (CTO) within the deadline of 30 days.

"The first means an applicant is seeking permission to establish a hotel/restaurant and the other indicates that a bona fide owners of such an establishment is wanting permission to operate. This is the first and last opportunity to legalise hotels and eateries running without pollution clearance," Bakshi said.

The member-secretary maintained that in the next phase, vehicle servicing shops would be brought within the ambit of the pollution control rules. During servicing, burnt lubricants are discharged into the drainage system, leading to water pollution. Big servicing units will be the primary target, he added.

Dinanath Hotels Private Limited, which owns big brands such as Capitol Hill, Capitol Residency and Kaveri, is among those that flaunt the pollution clearance.

"The dual consent is among basic criteria for establishing a hotel/restaurant. We have waste recycling and sewer water treatment plants and hence, the NOC. Regulations always existed on paper and it is good the authorities have decided to strictly implement them now," said director of Dinanath Hotels Sanjay Bhatia.

Do you think the NOC will help curb air/water pollution? Tell