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NGT enquires about ashrams running without consent in Haridwar


New Delhi, Sep 28: The National Green Tribunal, which has banned plastic in Haridwar and Rishikesh, today asked Uttarakhand government how some hotels, ashrams and dharamshalas were operating without consent from the pollution control board.

Besides seeking a report on the matter, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also directed the state government and Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board (UPCB) to inform it about the status of sewerage in these hotels, ashrams and dharamshalas.


"UPCB with (Nagar) Nigam will tell us as to how many hotels, ashrams and dharamshalas in Haridwar, Rishikesh and upwards are operating without consent from the board and also which of these units do not have a sewage connection.

"They should also inform about the capacity of each hotel, ashram and dharamshala," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said while fixing the matter for next hearing on October 14.

NGT's direction came after the Uttarakhand government submitted a list of the hotels, ashrams and guest houses, running in Haridwar, Rishikesh and upwards.

According to the list, 396 hotels, 431 ashrams and 256 dharamshalas were operating as on date in Haridwar and Rishikesh. Earlier, the Tribunal had slammed Uttarakhand government over non-compliance of its orders relating to the ban on use of polythene bags in Haridwar, Rishikesh and surrounding areas.

Taking note of status report filed by the local commissioner, the bench had directed UPCB to submit an affidavit stating whether consent to operate has been granted to the plastic manufacturing units in the state as mentioned in the report.

The green panel had in July imposed a complete ban on use of plastic bags in the pilgrim cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh and announced a fine of Rs 5,000 as per the 'polluter pays' principle.

"Plastic will not be used for any purpose whatsoever i.e for serving food, commodities, packing items etc," the Tribunal had then said.


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