One of the headlines in hotel industry news that caught my eyes this weekend from Times of India is Haridwar’s Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga. What I have ascertained in news articles is new government environmental initiatives are underway to reduce pollution in the Ganga, India’s sacred river. Radisson Blu Haridwar is one of the first hotels to be impacted by the new regulations for disposing wastewater into the Ganges. Apparently the Radisson Blu Haridwar, the only 5-star hotel in Haridwar, India, was sealed for allowing untreated wastewater from the hotel to flow into the Ganga River. The hotel’s kitchen and laundry were sealed and power turned off on Saturday.
There is no mention of this state action against the hotel on the Radisson Blu Haridwar Hotel website. The hotel is taking reservations for Tuesday night May 27, as far as I can tell.
India’s National Green Tribunal
The government in India established the National Green Tribunal in October 2010 for “effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.”
Haridwar is located on the bank of the Ganges River, at the base of the Himilayan Mountains in northern India, about 100 miles north of New Delhi, India. The Haridwar region is surrounded by Rajaji National Park. The park is an area with 500 elephants, 12 tigers and about 250 panthers.
Radisson Blu Haridwar sealed for lack of wastewater treatment
“During an inspection in April, it was found that the hotel had not set up its waste water treatment plant and untreated water was flowing into the drains near the hotel and onto the Ganga. Notices were issued to the hotel earlier as well to have its waste water treated but they were not heeded. Therefore, action was initiated to have the property sealed,”
Times of India (May 24, 2015)
The National Green Tribunal ordered the hotel sealed Saturday. The Central Pollution Control Board had asked the State Pollution Control Board several times to take action against the Radisson Blu hotel and four other polluting businesses. Orders from the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) were issued about two weeks ago on the basis of a May 12 report to the National Green Tribunal.
SPCB has reportedly put hotels in three categories on the basis of the pollution they cause. Those causing maximum pollution are in the red category. These include hotels with three or more stars or with 70 or more rooms. Radisson Blu fell in this category. “All of them have been ordered to install their waste water treatment plants. If they can’t do it, they have the option to get connected to the central effluent treatment plant of the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited. We have made it very clear to them that untreated water flowing into the Ganga will not be tolerated,” said Kansal.
Times of India – May 24
Radisson Blu Haridwar looks like a great tourist location for its proximity to Rajaji National Park. The location will likely be even nicer once wastewater treatment facilities are in place to stop the hotel’s wastewater pollution of the Ganges River.