The Bombay High Court has asked MIDC not to permit manufacturing units within 750 metres of a river from 1st September, if they do not maintain existing facilities for discharging effluents
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has asked Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) not to permit manufacturing units within 750 metres of a river from 1st September, if existing facilities are not maintained for discharge of effluents, reports PTI.
Under the rules, facilities such as pipelines or common effluent treatment plant (CETP) are required to be maintained to achieve the stipulated discharge standards.
The directive was given by Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar who also asked the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to constitute within a month a committee for five MIDC estates in the state to monitor functioning of CETPs and for industrial units within MIDC areas.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Nicholas Almeida who sought action against polluting units in the state.
The industrial estates whose reports were tabled in the Court about effluents being discharged into CETPs are Lote Parshuram Environment Protection Cooperative Society (Ratnagiri), Greenfield CETP Plant (MIDC Chincholi, Solapur), Badlapur CETP Association (MIDC Badlapur), Chikhloli-Morivali Effluent Treatment (MIDC Ambarnath) and Tarapur Environment Protection Society CETP.
Perusing the reports, the judges observed, "it appears that the CETPs are not in a position to comply with the statutory norms."
The Court also directed the associations running CETPs to inform the state pollution control board about the highly polluting industries. Besides, MPCB has also been asked to inform the concerned associations running CETPs about such action being taken.
For instance, if directions for closure are issued by MPCB to the highly polluting industries, a copy of all such directions shall also be served on the associations running CETP, so that the concerned association can monitor compliance, the judges noted.
The Court further asked the associations to send particulars about such highly polluting industries to the MPCB within four weeks.
"On receiving such information, MPCB shall inform the concerned associations about the action being taken against the highly polluting industries, which shall also be done within four weeks thereafter," the judges noted.
The bench recently said that if the highly polluting industries are allowed to discharge effluents which do not meet with the norms, the ultimate action of closure of CETP will result into closure of all the industries in that area.
It therefore asked the MPCB to take serious note of any information about highly polluting industries received from the associations.
The judges asked MPCB to keep a check on the polluting industries on its own by carrying out surprise visits and taking samples of effluents being discharged by the units.
The Court said that in order to comply with its order, the associations running CETP will be at liberty to take samples of effluents of the industries which the associations consider to be highly polluting or having potential for high pollution. The associations shall also take into consideration the affidavit filed on behalf of MPCB, it noted.
The bench opined that the associations running the CETP will also be at liberty to make appropriate arrangements and to direct their respective members to make appropriate arrangements to see that the effluents being discharged by individual unit are segregated in such a manner that the association and MPCB will be in a position to find out the highly polluting industries.
The Court asked the associations running CETP to ensure that the effluents being received from the chemical industries meet with the inlet norms for the CETP, so that after the treatment, the CETP is able to release the treated effluents within the permissible norms.
The Judges further noted that in case the association running CETP finds that effluents being sent by an individual industrial unit into the CETP inlet are carrying such high pollution load that CETP will not be in a position to treat it for the purpose of meeting with CETP norms, the association shall discontinue receiving such effluents form the concerned unit after giving prior notice and thereupon the concerned industrial unit shall stop all manufacturing activities.
The Court warned that "hereafter any industrial unit having its own effluent treatment plant shall not carry on any manufacturing activity whenever its effluent treatment plant is not functioning for any reason whatsoever, whether for maintenance, repairs or for any reason whatsoever".
Similarly, whenever the CETP is not functioning for any reason whatsoever, the association shall call upon its members to stop manufacturing activities and the manufacturers shall thereupon stop their manufacturing activities, the judges remarked while adjourning the matter to 30th August.
Maharashtra has rejected 265 premium-for-FSI proposals because it want flats from builders so that it can be given to needy people from Mumbai through lottery
Mumbai: Turning down a demand that builders be allowed to get additional floor space index (FSI) by paying premium in redeveloping old buildings of Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Authority (MHADA) in Mumbai, state Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday said they would have to share housing stock with the Authority in redeveloped buildings, reports PTI.
Replying to a calling-attention notice by Subhash Desai (Shiv Sena) and others, Chavan said a meeting of local legislators would be held after the monsoon session on the issue. However, there would be no compromise on the flat sharing formula, he said.
Some members of the ruling Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also backed the Opposition's demand, saying scrap the flat sharing formula and allow only premium payment for getting extra FSI.
In 2010, the state government amended the re-development scheme, Chavan said. In addition to premium payment, the state also gave builders an option of sharing flats for free with MHADA for procuring more FSI, he said.
But few builders opted for the flat sharing scheme because it is not profitable to them. "We have rejected 265 premium-for-FSI proposals because we want flats from builders so that they can be given to the needy persons through lottery. We don't want money because MHADA does not have land to build houses," he said.
Only 17 proposals for sharing of flats were cleared, he said adding 36 were being scrutinised. In this scheme, MHADA gets two shares of flats built for free while builder keeps one portion for selling them in open market or giving them to the members of redeveloped society.
The area of the rehabilitation component has a cap of 300 square feet or of the size before re-development. In any case, the flat should not be bigger than 750 sq ft.
The US Senate's Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations, said HSBC was found to be doing business with Al Rajhi Bank, whose key founder was an early financial benefactor of al Qaeda, and also have provided US dollars and services to some banks in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh despite their links to terrorist financing
Washington: A US Senate panel has accused global banking giant HSBC of exposing the country's financial system to various terror financing, money laundering and drug trafficking activities with transactions worth billions of dollars, due to poor risk control systems at the bank, reports PTI.
Among others, HSBC was found to be doing business with Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank, whose key founder "was an early financial benefactor of al Qaeda," the US Senate's Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations has said after a year-long probe into the affairs of the global banking major.
The bank has also been accused of indulging in various questionable transactions with entities from countries like Mexico, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, Burma, Cayman Islands, Japan and Russia.
Specifically, the bank has been alleged to have provided US dollars and banking services to some banks in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh despite links to terrorist financing.
Reacting to the report from the Senate Sub-Committee, HSBC said in a statement that it would apologise for failing to meet regulatory and customer standards in the past.
The bank said it recognises that its "controls could and should have been stronger and more effective in order to spot and deal with unacceptable behaviour."
The Senate Sub-Committee last night released a 17-page summary report of its probe. The entire 330-page report, prepared after a year-long investigation into HSBC, along with more than 100 other documents including bank records and internal emails, is being released at a hearing here today.
The hearing would include testimony from HSBC officials and federal regulators, the sub-committee Chairman and Senator Carl Levin said in a statement.
The bank operates in many jurisdictions with weak Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls, high risk clients, and high risk financial activities, including in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, the Senate sub-committee said.
The sub-committee said that HSBC used its US bank (HBUS) as a gateway into the US financial system for some HSBC affiliates around the world to provide dollar-denominated services to clients "while playing fast and loose with US banking rules".
"For decades, HSBC has been one of the most active global banks in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, despite being aware of the terrorist financing risks in those regions.
"In particular, HSBC has been active in Saudi Arabia, conducting substantial banking activities through affiliates as well as doing business with Saudi Arabia's largest private financial institution, Al Rajhi Bank," the report said.
"After the 9-11 terrorist attack in 2001, evidence began to emerge that Al Rajhi Bank and some of its owners had links to financing organisations associated with terrorism, including evidence that the bank's key founder was an early financial benefactor of al Qaeda.
"In 2005, HSBC announced internally that its affiliates should sever ties with Al Rajhi Bank, but then reversed itself four months later, leaving the decision up to each affiliate.
HSBC Middle East, among other HSBC affiliates, continued to do business with the bank," it added.
The probe further said that "due to poor AML controls, HBUS exposed the US to Mexican drug money, suspicious travelers cheques, bearer share corporations, and rogue jurisdictions."