New Delhi: Concerned over "health hazards" posed by eateries in the capital's Hauz Khas village which are allegedly running without proper permission, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), on Friday, directed closure of all these restaurants till September 24.
A bench headed by Justice P Jyothimani said the order would act as an injunction against any new eating joint which comes up in the area and listed the matter for further hearing on September 24.
"Considering seriousness of the issue of health hazard which is being caused, we have no hesitation to hold that balance of convenience in granting certain interim orders is in the interest of the public. Accordingly, we direct closure of all the restaurants situated in Hauz Khas area which are running without obtaining proper permission from appropriate authorities till the next date of hearing.
"There shall also be an order of injunction against everyone from starting any new restaurant in the said area. The respondent 2 (Delhi Pollution Control Committee) shall scrupulously implement the above said order," it said.
The tribunal observed that over 40 eateries in the area "are not only operating without proper clearance as per law but are discharging effluents, drawing potable water, apart from causing nuisance and environmental hazards in the said village".
The tribunal was hearing the petition by Pankaj Sharma, filed through advocate Sumedha Dua, alleging that the eateries which have come up in large numbers in Hauz Khas village are operating illegally as they do not have the requisite consents under the law.
Observing that so many eating joints could not have "mushroomed" in the area without the Delhi Pollution Control Committee's (DPCC) knowledge, the NGT sought the presence of authority's Member Secretary on the next date of hearing to explain as to "how long these restaurants have been allowed to continue to operate in the said area".