A National Green Tribunal (NGT) bench headed by chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar, on November 16, 2017, restrained 10 builders in Faridabad district in Haryana from withdrawing money from their bank accounts and asked them to submit bank guarantees of Rs 50 lakhs each within three days, over dysfunctional sewage treatment plants (STPs). It asked the builders to upgrade their STPs and then approach the Haryana Pollution Control Board, for inspection.
The tribunal ordered that no builder would be allowed to dump sewage in the open and strict action would be taken against the violators. “Only after taking permission from the NGT, would the accounts of the builders be de-freezed,” the tribunal said, while coming down heavily on the builders. The builders are – Omaxe Heights Faridabad and Summer Palms in Sector 86; SRS Residency and BPTP Villas in Sector 88; ERA Redwood Residency in Sector 78; SRS Royal Hills in Sector 87; Puri VIP Floors in Sector 81; BPTP L Block and BPTP Elite Floors in Sector 84; and Era Divine Court in Sector 76 of Faridabad.
The green panel also imposed an environment compensation of Rs 55 lakhs on ERA Redwood Residency, payable within one week, for not obtaining consent to operate for its sewage treatment plant. It also slapped an environment compensation of Rs five lakhs each, on Omaxe (Sector 86 project), SRS and BPTP over faulty STPs. Advocate Sumeer Sodhi, appearing for Omaxe, said that most of the builders were already under immense financial pressure and requested the tribunal not to impose a penalty on them.
The NGT’s order came on a petition, filed through Shariq Abbas Zaidi, by Faridabad resident Varun Sheokand, who had alleged that the group housing societies in Greater Faridabad and Sainik Colony had been dumping sewage in the open in the absence of a proper sewerage connection.