This writ petition filled by way of a Public Interest Litigation seeking writ, order or direction against Rajasthan Pollution Control Board to take immediate steps against unauthorized factories and restrain them from discharging toxic wastes and effluents into the canal and land and secondly to direct the concerned authority to check the raising of unauthorized construction of factories without compliance of the statutory provisions of Section 25 of the Act of 1975 and impose penalties on the factories found violating statutory provisions. The petitioner is aggrieved by the inaction of the respondents, since they allegedly failed to implement the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. The Rajasthan State Board for the Prevention and Control of Pollution ply stated to the effect that it is tackling enormous task of controlling discharge from all-over Rajasthan. It is also asserted that due to untiring efforts of the Board a Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) was constructed, in Pali which was to take care of treatment of ten million gallons of effluent from various textile units. In so far as the problem of discharge of effluent in the canal, by the printing units, is concerned, the Board alludes to the fact that a survey was conducted by the Board which revealed that around 240 dyeing and printing units are working in Sanganer and that none of the industries has installed an effluent treatment plant. The Court, on 20.9.95, passed an order, directing respondents to issue suitable orders to the industries, to obtain permission from the Pollution Control Board, within 45 days from the passing of the said order and in case, the factories set up failed to produce the required permission before the respondents, they should restrain the factories from operating.
In compliance with the order of the Court the respondent it stated, in an affidavit, that it hasd identified 86 units operating without the consent of the Pollution Control Board to whom they have issued notices under Section 25 of the Act directing to forthwith apply for consent applications. On receiving the applications, the board rejected the application of 42 units situated in the polluted area on the ground that none of the units had pollution control plant, for treating the effluents.
The Chairman, Pollution Control Board, suggested that a survey be conducted, by NEERI, to study the level of pollution in the area and that an environmental policy be also formulated. It was suggested a Pukka drain be built and a CETP be constructed by the State Government. Besides, it was suggested that the units be allotted plots in a separate zone, after the same is developed by the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO).
The court considered that "there is no doubt that effluents are being discharged by the dyeing and printing units, which are polluting the water sources, used for agriculture and drinking purposes" and no concrete steps to prevent pollution have been taken. It pointed out six principles that can be culled out from Articles 21; 48-A; and 51-A (g) of the Constitution and various judicial pronouncements: All human beings have the fundamental right to unpolluted environment, pollution-free water and air; State is obligated to preserve and protect the environment; It is mandatory for the State and its agencies, to conceive, anticipate, prevent and attack the causes of environmental degradations; The industry cannot be permitted to continue, as a matter of right, in case it creates pollution; The polluter must meet the cost of repairing environment and ecology and pay reparation to those, who have suffered be caused of the pollution, caused by him; Considerations of economy cannot prevail over concerns for environment and ecology.
Based on this legal position the court directed: RIICO shall develop an industrial area for dyeing and printing industry, within a period of eight months. Location of the area shall be identified and plans finalized within two months; The owners and proprietors of the present industrial outfits shall be given plots in the industrial area, for which, they shall pay the price, as determined by RIICO, at no-profit no-loss basis; Each of the printing and/or dyeing units shall pay the pollution-fine as prescribed by the court; Each of the units, within one month, shall deposit minimum pollution-fine of Rs. 20,000/- with RIICO. The balance amount, depending upon the turnover, shall be paid to RIICO, within two months. In case, pollution fine is not paid within time, the defaulting unit shall be sealed by the respondents.