Ngt Panel Lists Multiple Environmental Violations At Mohali Housing Project, ET RealEstate

July 22, 2023

CHANDIGARH: From unauthorised extraction of fresh water through tube wells to poor operation and maintenance of sewage treatment plants (STPs), the joint committee of National Green Tribunal (NGT) has found multiple violations of environmental norms by Mohali-based housing project Omaxe Greens.

The tribunal, in April, directed the committee to look into environmental issues such as the timeframe for setting up and commissioning of additional STP, utilisation of treated sewage, consented mode of disposal of treated sewage, and existence of supporting infrastructure for liquid and solid waste management provided by the local authority.

During the July 6 visit, the committee found that an STP of 180 KLD capacity, as proposed in the last report dated March 7, 2023, had been installed and made operational in May, taking the count of STPs in the project to two.

The committee discovered that both STPs, with a combined capacity of 300 KLD, were operational. However, upon inspection, the committee found several issues with the old STP (250 KLD). The treatment units of the old STP had been maintained poorly, and the MBBR media was completely exhausted. The anaerobic condition of the clarifier indicated that the same was not being operated properly. The UV system, which is supposed to disinfect, and ultrafiltration system were also found non-functional, pointing at poor operation and maintenance of both STPs.

The visiting team reported an unpleasant odour throughout the residential colony, which was confirmed by residents too. After inspecting records, the team found that neither the newly installed STP had been certified by an independent expert nor the adequacy report had been submitted to the PPCB.

Two tube-wells have been maintained on the premises of the project without obtaining permission from Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority for the extraction of groundwater. According to the record of flow meters for June, 550-570 KLD of freshwater was extracted.

During the visit, it was observed that a dual plumbing arrangement had been made for reusing treated water by providing it for flushing purposes. However, this was available only in four of the nine towers under the project.

The committee also observed that the plantation area of 0.5 acres, which was developed for reusing treated water for irrigation purposes using Karnal technology, was not being maintained properly. Solid waste was also found dumped in the area. Due to a poorly designed rainwater harvesting system and the absence of proper maintenance, rainwater harvesting pits were found to be filled with silt and stagnant water, which experts fear could cause groundwater pollution.

A composter of 100 kg/day capacity has been provided for composting biodegradable waste generated from the project against the required capacity of 660 kg/day. The panel observed that the non-operation of the composter machine and empty compost pits indicated that the developer had not processed biodegradable waste as per guidelines.

  • Published On Jul 22, 2023 at 06:30 PM IST

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