Pine Wood, other state-owned hotels face closure

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: Following the order from NGT, Eastern Zone Kolkata, the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board has issued closure notices to several hotels and guest houses including state run Pinewood Hotel, State Convention Centre, Orchid Hotel at Polo and  Orchid Lake Resort at Umiam for failing to install Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) and releasing untreated polluted water directly to the rivers.
The NGT had given the direction after hearing the pending petition filed by a city resident Naba Bhattacharjee over the rampant pollution of Wahumkhrah and Umshyrpi.
The action of the Pollution Control Board is follow up of a series of directions by NGT to take penal action against erring hotels, and the last order in this regard was on May 30.
The next hearing to be held on July 25 will take up the compliance report.
Earlier, after going through the affidavit filed by the Pollution Control Board, the NGT in its order on May 30 said, “Except for few, the validity of the consents to operate the hotels have expired- many of them in 2014, some in 2008 and the others in 2015. Under such circumstance, these hotels ought to have been closed and order to that effect ought to have been passed. Obviously, the hotels are running without necessary consent to operate”.
According to NGT, the hotels are operating in violation of the Air Act and Water Act and hence   they ought to have been closed.
During the hearing, Advocate General made a submission to give a last opportunity so that the government can be advised y to take immediate action.
An agency report on Monday quoted  the member secretary of  Pollution Control Board J H Nengnong as saying that it had issued closure notices to PineWood Hotel, other hotels and guest houses for failing to comply with the standing order of the government.
The Board had also asked Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited to disconnect electricity to the erring hotels.

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