OSPCB to seal hotels in Puri for defaulting on penalty

Puri: The Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) has now geared up to crack whip on defaulting hoteliers who are yet to deposit penalty for flouting pollution norms in the pilgrim  city of Puri.

Official sources said, a list of defaulters is now being prepared and the process to seal the hotels is likely to start from January end or first week of February 2018.

Earlier, as per National Green Tribunal (NGT) order, OSPCB had issued notices to nearly 300 hotels in Puri and Bhubaneswar last year for flouting pollution norms and lacking ‘consent to establish and consent to operate certificates.’

As per norms, hoteliers are required to obtain ‘consent to establish and consent to operate certificates from OSPCB under the Water Prevention and Control Act, 1974 before setting up hotels in Odisha.

The NGT had directed the OSPCB to take action against hoteliers who failed to obtain the twin certificates by August 6, 2015.

So far, a penalty of nearly Rs 2 crore has been received from 178 hotels while show-cause notices have been served to defaulters, said OSPCB regional officer, Hadibandhu Panigrahi.

Puri Hoteliers’ Association on the other hand has expressed resentment citing that they have been asked to pay penalty despite possessing the ‘consent to operate’ certificates.