JK News Today

Jammu, March 09:

A delegation of Banquet Hall Association, Jammu province, called on Chairman, JK Pollution Control Board, Suresh Chugh to discuss various issues

The delegation comprising Karan Singh, Chairman, Abhishek Gupta, General Secretary and other office bearers of the Association  projected their demands with regard to the installation of STPs, pending Consent to Operate (Renewal),  Ban on Single Use Plastic, Restriction  and use of Green Crackers only, Use of DJ  upto 10 PM with sound limiters etc.

The Chairman of the Association informed that most of the members have complied with the instructions issued with regard to ban on Single Use Plastics in their respective banquet halls and assured the chair that rest of the instructions shall also be followed fully by all the members of the association. He requested to consider exemption of installing Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), as majority of the Banquet Halls are small in nature and mainly deal  with functions of marriages in stipulated months of the year,  as per the ritual. He said some members who have installed STPs are facing problems of maintenance due to non functioning of STPs during off season. He further informed that huge cost and maintenance of STPs are some of the areas which need consideration of the Board.

The Member Secretary, JK PCB, B. M. Sharma said that National Green Tribunal, in its Order in OA 400 Dt. 20.12.2019, 23.07.2020 and 04.02.2021, clearly mentioned that all Banquet Halls irrespective of capacity have  to install STPs in their premises. He advised the members to immediately complete the formalities and apply online for getting Consent to Operate ( Renewal), as the stay order got by the Association shall not sustain for long. He said the Court could vacate the stay anytime in view of directions of  NGT.  He said that besides STP each Banquet Hall has to ensure proper handling of Solid Waste by installing Bio Digesters, if there is no tie up with Municipal Corporation or Urban Local Bodies.

On DG Set and Fire Crackers also, they are supposed to abide by the instructions of the NGT.

The Chairman, JK PCB, Suresh Chugh said that initially Board had framed guidelines in 2008 to regulate the Banquet Halls in erstwhile State of J&K. But due to clear cut orders issued by the Central Pollution Control Board and NGT, there is no option left for Banquet Hall owners but to install STPs in their premises or  get connected with Common Effluent Treatment Plant, otherwise stringent action is required to be taken in view of instructions of  NGT viz  closure of units, levying of Environmental Compensation etc.   He said that when Court is not sparing the Government Institution for violations and there is no question of any relaxation for violators by any class. He intimated the hall owners that power with regard to controlling Noise Pollution have been delegated to DCs, SPs SHOs concerned and Dy. Superintendent of Police and any violation shall be dealt with strictly as per the delegation of powers.

 It was suggested that in order to overcome the problem of huge cost and maintenance of STPs being faced by the hall owners, quotations for installation of STPs in bulk collectively can be done and PCB is ready to provide them the technical know-how.

The other officers, who attended the meeting, included B.M. Sharma; Member Secretary, Dr. Nadeem Hussain; Regional Director, PCB, Jammu, M. M. Shah; Legal Advisor, Ashok Gupta; Assistant  Environmental Engineer, A. B. Jandial; Divisional Officer, Jammu South, Arshad Malik; Divisional Officer, PCB, Jammu, North, Dimple Sharma ; and Field Inspector, PCB.

The Association of Banquet Halls assured cooperation in the matter of controlling noise and Solid Waste Management along with STPs.