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    Legal Matters -A Sine View - Implementation of Water Act, 1974 and Air Act, 1981

Implementation of Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and
Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
Status of applications/complaints filed by the Board under the provisions of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and under the provisions of the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 respectively.
Particulars Complaints filed u/s 43/44 4 r.w. Section 25 & 26 of Water (P&CP) Act, 1974 Applications filed under Sub-Section (1) of Section 33 of Water (P&CP) Act, 1974 Complaints filed under Section 39 r.w.21 of Air (P&CP) Act, 1981 Applications filed u/s 22A of Air (P&CP) Act, 1981
No.of cases filed 303 140 146 3
No.of cases convicted. 70 87 114 1
No. of cases dismissed. 128 52 32 2
No. of cases pending 105 1 - -

The Board has started taking actions under the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 from 1984. The Board had initially filed an applications under Sub-Section (1) of Section 33 of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, for restraining apprehended pollution in order to get immediate relief from the courts. The Board had filed 140 applications for restraining apprehended pollution before the Judicial Magistrate First Class in the respective jurisdictions. 87 applications are decided in favour of the Board.

After adoption of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Board had effectively used the powers to make applications to the Judicial Magistrate First Class in the respective jurisdiction, of most polluting industries for restraining apprehended pollution. At that time, in order to take immediate only remedial measure for restraining apprehended pollution, was to make application to the courts for restraining apprehended pollution. The Board could have procured prohibitory orders in respect of not only stoppage / prevention of water pollution in serious cases, but also could have obtained the orders for restoring wholesomeness of the water in some of the cases. The Board had also obtained prohibitory orders against 4 new sugar industries, namely, 1) M/s.Mahakali SSK Ltd., Sangli; 2) M/s.Shri Datta SSK Ltd., Asurle Porle; 3) M/s.Jalna SSK Ltd., Jalna; and 4) M/s.Manganga SSK Ltd., Latur, which had tried to start commercial production without providing effluent treatment plant, directing them not to start commercial production without providing effluent treatment plant and without obtaining necessary consent to operate from the Board. Similarly, the Board had effectively used its powers to make applications to the courts for restraining apprehended pollution in respect of the sugar industries, which had stored molasses into katcha pits in contravention of the consent conditions during the period 1987-88, when a large quantity of molasses was remained with the sugar industries because of control of excise on its sale / disposal and due to large scale production of sugarcane, the sugar industries were required to be operated beyond normal season, which has resulted into generation of molasses on huge scale. The effect of such type of applications was that the sugar industries had to construct pacca steel tanks with adequate capacity of storage and the molasses stored in the katcha pit was lifted as per directions of the court. The effective use of the powers to make applications for restraining apprehended pollution in emergency cases resulted into stoppage / prevention of pollution with the orders of the court in short time.

The Board is also filing prosecutions against the defaulting industries, which are not complying with the consent conditions and causing pollution of the environment. The Board had filed 298 complaints against the defaulting industries, out of which, 52 cases are decided in favour of the Board. 87 cases are decided against the Board upto 30th September, 2004.

After adoption of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the stringent punishment provided in the Act for offences for non-compliance of consent conditions such as minimum 6 months imprisonment as well as and maximum 72 months imprisonment as well as fine till an Amendment of 1988. The Board had therefore filed a number of prosecutions against defaulting industries, which had not complied with the consent conditions. After adoption of 1988 Amendment in the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 by the State of Maharashtra in August, 1989 also, the Board continued filing of prosecution/s against the defaulting industries not complied with the consent conditions and which had caused the pollution. The overall percentage of success in filing of prosecution/s under the provisions of Sections 41, 43 & 44 of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 is 35 %. 65 % cases are decided against the Board because the courts are reluctant to award minimum 18 months imprisonment & fine as punishment as per Amendment of 1988 to the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. The cases are dismissed on the grounds that the samples under Section 21 of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 are not collected by following mandatory provisions in the Act, the results of samples are not communicated to the defaulting industries, the pollution at source is not proved, the consent/s are deemed to be granted after 4 months pendency time or renewed in spite of non-compliance of consent conditions and the case is not proved beyond reasonable doubt. It is expected by the court/s that more stringent the punishment, the stricter evidence may be brought on record to prove the case/s beyond reasonable doubt.

The Board has filed total 587 cases against the defaulting industries under the provisions of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and under the provisions of the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act,1981 till 30th September, 2004. Out of that 447 cases are disposed off. Out of 447 disposed off cases, 258 cases are decided in favour of the Board and 189 cases are decided against the Board. Overall 57 % cases are decided in favour of the Board and 43 % cases are decided against the Board. The overall performance of the decision of cases in favour of the Board is satisfactory.

A review was taken by the Board some time in 1995 in regard to the cases filed in various courts of law. It revealed that longer periods were required to finally book the offenders. There was no effective control on containing the pollution in the intervening period. The Board therefore, thought it fit to resort to invoking the provisions under Section 33A and 31A of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 respectively and to enforce on polluters, a time bound programme for undertaking upgradation/ modernization additions of the existing pollution control facilities so that at the end of such committed periods, there would be effective reduction in pollution loads. The Board also introduced a scheme of securing bank guarantees from a number of defaulting industries, where it was felt that only undertaking would not suffice to support the time bound programme.

An extensive survey was carried out by the Field Officers of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board during last 2 years to identify units having inadequate pollution control devices. Certain specific polluting industrial sectors were chosen for this survey which included units manufacturing H-Acid, J-Acid, Vinyal Sulphone, Distilleries, Paper units, Steel plant with Acid Pickling, Drugs and Pharmaceutical units and certain other categories of chemical units. The inadequacy of the treatment and disposal facilities were brought into sharp focus. Proposed directions first, were issued to all such units requesting for filing the replies in writing. After receipt of the replies, in which the industries itself admitted the short falls, personal hearings were extended by the committee comprising of Chairman, Members, Member Secretary and other senior officers of the Board. Depending on the merits of each case, a time bound programme was obtained from such industries backed by an undertaking and Bank Guarantee to complete the modernization/upgradation of the existing treatment and disposal facilities.

Where the industries proposed environmental betterment programmes, with a view to reducing the pollution load in future, like Chemical Recovery Plant in Paper Pulp Mills, Acid Regeneration Plant in the Steel Pickling units etc.involving heavy investment of more than Rs.5 to 10 crores, commensurate time has been given. In all the cases, the progress is being watched by the Field Officers. Certain recalcitrant units which did not bother to respond to the directions issued by the Board and those which were found to be habitual and willful defaulters were closed down and allowed to restart only after they complied with the directions.

In a few cases, where the industries did not take speedy measures to implement the time bound programme, Bank Guarantees were involved and criminal actions against units started, thus levying on them, indirectly ‘Pollution Fines’, M/s.Kores (India) Ltd., Roha, Dist: Raigad; M/s.Kay Pulp & Paper Mills, Borgaon District : Satara; M/s.Aurangabad Forbes Gokak, Aurangabad; and M/s.Chemiquip Ltd., Tarapur, Dist: Thane are such cases where Bank Guarantees valued at Rs.1,00,000/-, Rs.1,00,000/-, Rs.50,000/- and Rs.10,000/- respectively have been invoked. The Board has also encashed bank guarantee of Rs.10,00,000/- given by M/s.Dabhol Power Co. for non-compliance of the consent conditions and directions issued by the Board. The Board has also encashed the bank guarantee of M/s.Pudumjee Pulp & Paper Mills Ltd. twice amounting to Rs.1,00,000/- & Rs.1,50,000/- respectively for the non-compliances. Besides that the Board has also encashed the amount of Bank Guarantee in respect of Kolhapur Municipal Corporation amounting to Rs.1,00,000/-. The Board has encashed bank guarantees amounting to Rs.61,45,000/- till 25th January, 2005. The Board has thus effectively applied the “Polluter Pay Principle”. A statement showing amount of bank guarantees encashed by the Board from various regions upto 25th January, 2005 is produced below:

Serial No. Region Amount of bank guarantee encashed
1 Mumbai Rs.3,80,000/-
2 Navi Mumbai Rs.3,40,000/-
3 Thane Rs.12,10,000/-
4 Kalyan Rs.5,00,000/-
5 Raigad Rs.7,15,000/-
6 Pune Rs.9,30,000/-
7 Kolhapur Rs.16,30,000/-
8 Aurangabad Rs.3,20,000/-
9 Amravati Rs.10,000/-
10 Nagpur Rs.2,35,000/-
11 Nashik Rs.1,25,000/-
TOTAL Rs.63,95,000/-
List of certain major units which were closed by the Board and also, a list of industries which have complied with the directions of the Board in making substantial additional investments in pollution prevention measures is depicted.

As a result of the stringent actions taken by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, a large number of industries have taken immediate steps to effectively control the pollution. Major polluting industries in each industrial area have been targeted by the Board for issuing appropriate directions. This has resulted in induced impact on other polluters. Self disciplining on the part of other industries is now being increasingly witnessed by the Board. The Board has now decided that surprise checks would be carried out jointly by its Field Officers and the 1concerned Deputy/Executive Engineers of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, to check the effluent quality. If the industry is found not operating the treatment facilities, the matter would be reported jointly by these officers. Action for closure of industry including disconnection of water/electricity shall be immediately taken. Such industries will be allowed to restart with a suitable Bank Guarantee. In case of any further default, besides the guarantees being invoked, criminal proceedings would be initiated. It is expected that these measures will go a long way in improving the environmental scenario in various industrial areas of the State.

Sr. No. Name & Address of Industry Treatment and disposal system Approx.amount of investment made or to be made on Pollution Control Devices.
1. M/s.Polychem Ltd.(Distillery),At Nimbat, Post:Nira, Tal:Baramati, Dist: Pune. Concentration and incineration system for spent wash About Rs.2 crores
2. M/s.Nath Pulp & Paper Mills,Nathnagar, Tal: Paithan, Dist: Aurangabad. Chemical Recovery Plant with Co- generation. About Rs.18 crores
3. M/s.Jai Corpn.Ltd.,(Comet Steel Division),Plot No.4-A, MIDC Nanded.M/s.Jai Corpn.Ltd.,(Sipta Coated Steels Division)Plot No.A-3, MIDC Nanded, Dist: Nanded. Joint Acid Regeneration Plant to be provided.Primary Treatment Provided Rs.5 crores.
4. M/s.Vasantdada SSK Ltd.,Sangli. Primary Treatment provided More than Rs.1.5 crores.
5. M/s.Karmaveer Kakasaheb Wagh, Kakasahebnagar, Tal: Niphad, Dist: Nashik. Primary Treatment provided More than Rs.2 crores.
6. M/s.Western Maharashtra, At : Chitali, Tal: Shrirampur,Ahmednagar. Primary Treatment provided More than Rs.2 crores.
7. M/s.Maharashtra Distilleries,MIDC Chikalthana, Dist: Aurangabad. Primary Treatment provided More than Rs.2 crores.
8. M/s.Shrigonda SSK Ltd.,Shrigonda Factory, Shrigonda,Dist: Ahmednagar. Primary Treatment provided More than Rs.1 crores.
9. M/s.Krishan SSK Ltd.,Shivnagar, Pethare BK,Tal: Karad, Satara. Primary Treatment provided More than Rs.6 crores.
10 M/s.Nira Valley Ardashala,Paltha, Satara. Primary Treatment provided More than Rs.1.5 crores.
11. M/s.Warna SSK,Warnanagar, Tal: Panhala,Kolhapur Primary & Secondary Treatment provided More than Rs.2 crores
12 M/s.United Co.Op.Distillery,Parite Shahunagar, Karveer,Kolhapur. Primary Treatment provided More than Rs.1 crores.
13. M/s.Nippon Denro Ispat Ltd.,Kalmeshwar, Nagpur. Acid Regeneration Plant Rs.6 crores.
14. M/s.Simplex Mills, Nagpur Caustic Recovery Plant Already invested Rs.1.93 crores Proposed investment Rs.9 crores.
15. M/s.Vidarbha Iron & Steel,Nagpur. Air Pollution Control arrangements to Argon Oxygen Decarboniser – Hood- Recatory-ducting - water cool – Heat Exchanger – dilution chamber Bay House. Rs.1 crores
16. M/s.Ceat Ltd.,Mumbai. Existing Dust Collectors replaced by new. Rs.1 crore.
17. M/s.Merind Ltd.,Bhandup, Mumbai. Tertiary treatment Rs.1 crore
18. M/s.Indian Organic ChemicalsKhopoli, Raigad. Tertiary treatment Rs.1 crore
19. M/s.Mohan Rockey Springwater & Breveries Ltd.,Khopoli, Dist: Ragiad. Tertiary treatment (Recycling) Rs.1 crore.
20. M/s.Indo Rama Synthetic Ltd.Butibori, Nagpur Tertiary Treatment with 50% recycling Already invested Rs.55 lakhs.
Proposed investment Rs.1 crores.
21. M/s.Raymond Calitri Denim Ltd., Yavatmal. Primary & secondary treatment alongwith Reverse Osmosis treatment Rs.2.25 crores.
Illustrative list of units which were asked to close operation by the Board and allowed to restart their operations only after taking effective steps for containing pollution.
Sr. No. Name of the unit Category Directions issued on
1. M/s.National Metal Refinery Co, Thane. Red 6.8.1996
2. M/s.Kaushal Silk Mills Pvt.Ltd.,Thane. Red 23.8.1996
3. M/s.Narendra Silk Mills, Thane. Red 10.12.1996
4. M/s.Deckay Metal Refinery Co.,Thane. Red 6.8.1996
5. M/s.Swift Paper Mill Co.(P) Ltd.,Aurangabad Red 26.2.1997
6. M/s.Terna SSK Ltd., Osmanabad Red 10.12.1996
7. M/s.Paschim Chemicals Pvt.Ltd.,Aurangabad. Red 26.7.1995, 9.12.1996
8. M/s.Sark Chemicals Pvt.Ltd.,Aurangabad Red 30.1.1997
9. M/s.Polychem Ltd.(Distillery),Pune. Red 4.7.1995
10. M/s.Krishna SSK Ltd.(Distillery),Satara. Red 10.12.1996, 19.5.1997
11. M/s.Shri Ram SSK Ltd.,Satara. Red 13.2.1996
12. M/s.Kay Pulp & Paper Mills Ltd.,Pune. Red 27.7.1995
13. M/s.United Co-Op.Distillery Ltd.,Kolhapur. Red 4.10.1995
14. M/s.Vasantdada Shetkari SSK Ltd., Sangli. Red 13.2.1996
15. M/s.Kolhapur Sugar Mills Ltd.,Kolhapur Red 3.1.1994, 19.5.1997
16. M/s.Navrang CO-OP.Processors Ltd., Ichalkaranji Red 25.8.1995
17 M/s.Praveen Organics Ltd.,Ahmednagar Red 31.3.1995
18. M/s.Shrigonda SSK Ltd.,Ahmednagar Red 17.1.1997
19. M/s.Girna SSK Ltd.,Nashik Red 19.5.1997
20. M/s.Belganga SSK Ltd., Jalgaon Red 19.5.1997
21. M/s.Vasant SSK Ltd., Jalgaon Red 19.5.1997
22. M/s.Pasari Textile & Printing Mills Pvt.Ltd.,
MIDC Dombivli.
Red 20.12.1996
23 M/s.Universal Trading & Mfg.Co.MIDC Dombivli. Red 1.2.1997
24. M/s.Sharda Processors Pvt.Ltd.,MIDC Dombivli. Red 30.1.1997
25. M/s.Pearl Process, MIDC Dombivli. Red 30.1.1997
26. M/s.Agarwal Dyeing,MIDC Dombivli. Red 30.1.1997
27. M/s.Rajiv Leather Industry,Mumbai Red 15.6.1996
28. M/s.Chickeurer & Sons,Mumbai. Red 15.6.1996
29. M/s.ATV Projects Ltd.,Raigad Red 23.1.1995
30. M/s.EPIC, Raigad Red 17.12.1994
31. M/s.Santogen Exports Ltd., Raigad. Red 5.5.1995
32 M/s.Bakul Automatics, Raigad Red 12.7.1995
33. M/s.Shri Hari Chemicals Ltd., Raigad. Red 17.7.1995
34 M/s.Crest Chemicals Pvt.Ltd.,Raigad. Red 12.7.1995
35 M/s.Crest Paper Mills, Raigad Red 5.7.1995
36 M/s.Vamotivala Chemicals,Raigad. Red 12.7.1995
37 M/s.Shaper Chemicals Ltd.,Raigad Red 13.5.1995
38 M/s.Parkson’s Dyestuff Industry,Nagpur Red 28.2.1997
39 M/s.Simplex Mills Co.Ltd., Nagpur Red 15.4.1995
40 M/s.Ellora Paper Mills, Nagpur Red 12.9.1995
41 M/s.Lloyd Metal & Engineering Ltd., Chandrapur Red 28.12.1995
Till, delegation of powers to issue directions to the Regional Officers of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, the directions were being issued at HQ level. The details of directions issued during the period 1996-2002 at HQ level are reproduced hereunder :
Statement showing the total number of defaulting industries to whom proposed directions/Final Directions were issued under Section 33A
of the Water Act, 1974 and under Section 31A of the Air Act, 1981
during the year 1996 – 2002
Year Proposed directions issued U/S 33A of the Water (P&CP) Act,1974 Directions of Closure issued U/S 33A of the Water P&CP) Act, 1974 Proposed directions issued U/S 31A of the Air (P&CP) Act, 1981 Directions of closure issued U/S 31A of the Air (P&CP) Act,1981
1996-1997 532 157 130 6
1997-1998 410 148 34 62
1998-1999 213 120 39 16
1999-2000 302 230 69 36
2000-2001 317 136 35 5
2001-2002 298 67 103 20
TOTAL 2072 858 410 145

Crminial Case filed under the provisions of Water Act, 1974 & Air Act, 1981
     The Board has filed Cr. Complaint 1/SS/2006 against M/s Arno    Cosmetics, Deonar, Mumbai under provisions of the Water Act, 1974 & Air Act,1981
     -------  Pending       
                                                                                                                  

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