The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday fined the Delhi government Rs 50 crore for not taking action against steel pickling units in residential areas, PTI reported. Pickling is the process of removing impurities such as stains and inorganic contaminants from steel, and it falls in the category of prohibited industrial activities.

The tribunal also directed the Delhi government to shut down these units with immediate effect. A bench headed by tribunal’s chairperson Justice AK Goel pulled up the government led by the Aam Aadmi Party for not closing down the industrial units despite specific directions.

The order came on a plea filed by non-governmental organisation All India Lokadhikar Sangthan, seeking to execute the tribunal’s order to close down such units in industrial areas as well. The plea claimed that steel pickling units in Wazirpur Industrial Area discharged effluents into open drains that flow into the Yamuna river.

In January, the Delhi government had informed the National Green Tribunal that steel pickling units fell in the list of prohibited industrial activities according to the Delhi Master Plan, 2021 and cannot operate in residential areas.