Sahara Mall in Gurugram sealed for flouting pollution norms
Sahara Mall, one of the oldest commercial hubs of the city located on the Mehrauli-Gurugram road, was sealed by the Haryana Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) for flouting anti-pollution norms, pollution control board officials said on Monday.
A team from the pollution control board along with duty magistrate Kartar Singh and pollution environment engineers Neha Saharan and Ujjwal Kumar reached the mall at around 7.30 a.m. and sealed the entire complex.
According to officials, a sample from the sewerage treatment plant (STP) of the mall was taken in February. This was found to be not treated properly.
"The mall authority was not treating the STP water properly which is a clear violation of the pollution norms. We had also served a notice to the mall authority in February but they haven't taken any action so far," said Kuldeep Singh, regional officer, pollution control board.
He said that the samples of the STP were taken in 2018 and at that time also the department had slapped a penalty of Rs 2.50 lakh on the mall authorities due to violation of pollution control norms.
The board had sealed the STP then and it is yet to get approval for resumption of operations but the mall authorities were running it without informing the board.
"The mall management without treating the sewerage water used to dump it outside which is gross negligence on the part of the mall authorities. Thus action was initiated," Singh said.
Apart from this, the shop owners also protested against the mall authorities for this negligence.
"I am paying around Rs 60,000 as maintenance to the mall management to avoid any inconvenience but we had no idea that the mall authority has received noticed from the pollution department," a shop owner at the mall said.
Another shop owner said, "First the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic hit our business hard. We are already facing staff crunch and financial growth as well and now this sealing will surely affect our business."
Meanwhile, the Board is now planning to file a suit against the mall management in the environmental court.
"The mall management is not taking our notice seriously and continuously disobeying HSPCB warning. We will soon file a suit against the authority and impose hefty penalty as per the norms," Singh said.
"We will allow the mall to operate only when they fulfil all the norms and obtain required permissions from the court," he added.
Despite several attempts the mall authorities could not be contacted. - IANS