New Delhi, Jan 24 IANS | 9 months ago

An NGO working towards cleaning and saving the Yamuna river has filed a fresh affidavit before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking closure and removal of steel pickling factories from Delhi.

Girish Pandey, who heads the All India Lokadhikar Sangathan, said that despite the tribunal's Aug 21, 2013 order, the factories in Wazirpur area of northern Delhi were running their business as usual.

Pickling is a metal surface treatment used to remove impurities, such as stains, inorganic contaminants, rust or scale from ferrous metals, copper and aluminum alloys.

"It is evident that these factories use hazardous acids and minerals which they then dump to Najafgarh Nala (drain) without properly treating them. These untreated acids and minerals have contaminated the 23-km stretch of the river starting from Okhla in south Delhi to Kosikalan in Uttar Pradesh," Pandey said in a release Friday.

The NGO had approached the NGT in July last year, and the panel ruled the next month that these units at Wazirpur must be closed down with immediate effect. It has also said in its ruling, dated Aug 2, that these units may run their business only when they acquire all the necessary approvals from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

The NGO, however, said that these pickling units are doing their business without receiving any clearance from DPCC, thereby, openly disobeying the NGT's ruling.

"This pious river has been the identity of Delhi since ages. Yamuna is not just a river for us but a goddess whose purity is being let down by some self-sighted businessmen who are running their factories at the cost of the river and environment as a whole.

"Yamuna has been our only source of water and we must protect her from any sort of contamination. She is the lifeline of the entire ecosystem of this region," Pandey said.

"I am sure, with the change in government, we will witness change in approach as well. I am sure our new chief minister would take this matter with utmost importance and will take initiatives to save our mother," he added.

(Posted on 24-01-2014)

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