The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday slapped Rs 50 crore fine on the Delhi government for not following its order to shut the stainless-steel pickling units in residential areas as they fall under the prohibited list of industrial activity.
Hearing a petition filed by an NGO, All India Lokadhikar Sangthan, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel slammed the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for not closing the industrial units despite the green court’s clear directions.
Besides the fine, the tribunal also ordered the Kejriwal government to shut these units with immediate effect.
Earlier, the green panel had directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to act against stainless steel pickling industries in residential areas. The court had said that they fall under the prohibited list of industrial activity as per the Delhi Master Plan (DMP), 2021.
The plea alleged that the liquid used by such units to remove impurities of steel is discharged in open drains which ultimately met the already polluted Yamuna river. The plea asserted that “time is being taken by the Delhi government and the environment is made to suffer continuously”.
What is pickling?
Pickling is the process of removing impurities, such as stains, inorganic contaminants, rust or scale from ferrous metals, copper, precious metals and aluminium alloys. In the process, a solution called pickle liquor, which contains acid, is used to remove the surface impurities.