The National Green Tribunal has directed Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and others to probe the allegation of illegal operation of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) units in Narela in Delhi. It was hearing a plea filed by residents of Kamruddin Nagar village at Narela alleging illegal operation of PVC units. Though the MCD had sealed some units, many other engaged in manufacturing of PVC grinder etc. are still continuing.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel formed a committee comprising officials from DPCC, North Delhi District Magistrate and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to look into the matter. The nodal agency will be the DPCC for coordination and compliance. The joint committee has been asked to take appropriate action in accordance with law and furnish a factual and action taken report in the matter within two months.
It should be noted that order of National Green Tribunal is binding as a decree of court and non-compliance is actionable by way of punitive action including prosecution, in terms of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
PVC is one of the most widely used polymers in the world. Due to its thermoplastic nature, PVC can be recycled several times without significant loss of performance. Even in European countries PVC is recycled but under strict regulatory environment. However, one of the fears expressed by the environmentalists in recycling of PVC is the use of converters made of heavy metal-based additives (lead and cadmium): stabilisers to protect their products from thermal degradation and also pigments. In most of the cases in India, recycling is done in the informal sector without the supervision of government regulation which essentially involves mechanical grinding of the waste material to produce a granular product that can then be used in the production of new PVC products. Products so produced are usually hazardous and may cause health problems for the users.