• CAG assails delay in setting up ETP

  • Now, you have to pay for plastic bags

  • CAG assails delay in setting up ETP


    NEW DELHI: The Narela industrial area, developed more than a decade back, is yet to have a common effluent treatment plant (CETP). This is despite the fact that the Delhi government faces a strict Supreme Court deadline to clean up the Yamuna, and industrial areas in the city were identified as releasing large-scale effluents into the river.

    The CAG, in its report on the Delhi government for the year 2002, says the Narela industrial area was set up in 1989-90 and it still does not have a CETP. ‘‘The Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC) decided in April 2001 to abandon the existing partly-complete plant and install a new CETP with additional capacity and purification efficiency.’’

    The CAG has pointed out that the DSIDC which was to have developed the CETP in the industrial area has not only delayed the construction by more than a decade but also incurred infructuous expenditure of Rs 1.23 crore over the CETP which lies abandoned and incomplete. The CAG says: ‘‘The delay of over 10 years in getting the work completed has defeated the very purpose of safeguarding the environment.’’

    The DSIDC incurred a loss of Rs 1.23 crore in the construction of the CETP because of delays in submitting drawings and problems over payment. It had awarded the construction work of the CETP in January 1989 to a private company at a cost of Rs 2.37 crore. The CETP was to be completed by April 10, 1990. Though the contractor spent Rs 1.23 crore on the project, it was incomplete and he decided to abandon the work in November 1991.

    The CAG says DSIDC appointed an arbitrator against whom the contractor moved the Delhi high court which appointed a different arbitrator. The new arbitrator held the DSIDC responsible for the delay in deciding the drawings for the layout and the structures. The arbitrator also said the DSIDC was responsible for delay in payment and in some cases of non-payment of bills to the contractor.

    The DSIDC was asked to pay Rs 22.59 lakh to the contractor in March 1999 for electrical and mechanical bills, escalation in payments and security deposits. The arbitrator also asked the DSIDC to give an interest of Rs 34.56 lakh upto October 1999 and the cost of arbitration of Rs 8.42 lakh.

    The CAG says that despite the contractor abandoning the work, the DSIDC did not make any efforts to get the remaining work complete. The CAG says: ‘‘The DSIDC did not press for a counter claim on the contractor under the risk and cost clause. It also did not fix responsibility for the infructuous expenditure which establishes the fact that the DSIDC was at fault.’’


    Now, you have to pay for plastic bags


    BANGALORE: The giveaway carry bags dispensed free at your favourite grocery and other commercial establishments will no longer come be complimentary.

    Come Wednesday, all shops, hotels, supermarkets and other commercial establishments across Karnataka have to ``charge appropriately'' for carry bags, as directed by the State Pollution Control Board.

    The charge will probably be `small change', but then, everything comes with a price. Let alone a thorough ban on sub-standard polythene covers, the Board has issued a direction for the sale of only high quality, high consumer usage carry bags.

    It's the shopkeeper's discretion to fix the price. Better the quality, higher the price. No problem if the quality bags are coloured. But make sure you don't end up paying for sub-standard plastic bags: Polythene bags manufactured out of less than 20 microns and essentially lightweight ones which are readily tearable and never used for recycling by scrap dealers. One good example is those used for packing meat.

    The direction comes as another step-up measure by the Board to enforce the two-year-old central government notification on the ban on manufacture and usage of polythene bags measuring less than 20 microns.

    The Board feels charging a buck extra for the carry bags will create a sense of awareness on plastic among consumers, which will allow them to re-use carry bags.

    ``Establishments flouting the direction will be booked under the Environment Protection Act,'' Board Chairman Upendra Tripathy confirmed to The Times of India.

    The Board has also set up a committee under the chairmanship of Divisional Commissioner I. Devendran to regulate the ban. While Tripathy has been appointed co-chairman, Deputy Commissioners of Bangalore (Rural and Urban) Narayan Swamy and Ashwath, Karnataka State Plastic Bag Manufacturers and Traders' Association, eight NGOs and environment officer Sadiq Ahmed is member convener.

    ``Trade of plastic bags less than 20 microns is thriving in the state capital. The committee, in its earlier meetings, has decided to conduct surprise visits at all manufacturing units from Thursday,'' Sadiq Ahmed said. ``Those failing to comply with the stipulated norms will be booked under Sections 5 and 15 of the EPA. It's a promise this time to ensure that the Board is successful in implementing the ban,'' Ahmed said.

    Tripathy feels that although the Board has been successful in banning the manufacture of sub-standard plastic bags, it is the neighbouring states which play spoilsport by trading their banned carry bags into Karnataka. ``Strict legal action will be taken against such erring traders. The Karnataka State Plastic Bag Manufacturers and Traders' Association has pledged its support for this endeavour,'' he said.