345 industries continue to violate pollution norms

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 23 2011, 07:37am hrs
As many as 345 industries continue to violate pollution norms in various parts of the country despite strict pollution norms and closure of polluting industries in the past.

Of the 2,600 highly polluting industries across 17 sectors like fertilisers, thermal power, sugar, petrochemicals, cement and integrated iron and steel plants, around 345 industries are not complying with water and air pollution norms, while 339 have been shut down due to constant violation. Majority of these non- compliant industries are in Uttar Pradesh closely followed by Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

UP has 71 non complying industries while 38 have already been closed whereas 67 industries are not following the rules set by the central pollution control board (CPCB) and 31 have faced closure in AP.

The non-complying industries are those where effluent treatment plants and emission control systems are installed but found not complying with few parameters of prescribed standards at the time of the last monitoring.

In case of non-compliance, we either send a closure notice or close the project immediately, depending on the control measures being used. If there are no control measures at all, then we close the industry but a notice is issued if there are control measures in place but not being used properly, said SP Gautam, CPCB chairman.

While the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) along with CPCB sets the norms, these environmental standards are enforced by the respective state pollution control boards (SPCBs) and pollution control committees (PCCs). The ministry, however, claims that the SPCBs are not submitting updated status regularly.

Gujarat and Rajasthan are among the other big polluters with 53 and 30 non-complying but highly polluting industries, respectively. On the other hand, Maharasthra has the highest number of closed industries at 69 followed by Gujarat at 60.