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In a breather for several restaurant owners in the Hauz Khas Village here, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Wednesday allowed many of them to continue running their eateries but laid down a deadline for installing effluent treatment plants (ETPs).

The NGT on Sep 20 shut 34 restaurants in the area after a petition was filed against their polluting the 14th century village. The area has a lake, a green belt and ruins of archaeological importance in the vicinity of the restaurants.

Of the 34 restaurants, 22 have responded to the court’s notice. While one of them has already installed an effluent treatment plant, 14 others have started the process of doing so.

The tribunal gave four weeks to the restaurants to complete the installation.

Another 11 eateries said they have ordered ETPs but the installation work is yet to start. These were asked to pay Rs. 10,000 each to the NGT Bar Association.

Four weeks time has also been given to these restaurants for installing the ETPs and they have been allowed to operate. Other restaurants which have still not initiated any process for installing ETPs and did not responded to the notice will remain shut.

The tribunal also criticised the Delhi government for the Delhi Pollution Control Board being understaffed and directed the state government to take immediate action.

The NGT has directed the formation of a committee with representatives from the municipal corporations, the central and state pollution control boards and other concerned authorities.

(ource: IANS)

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