Power supply to Baddi pharma unit snapped

Torque Pharma has been found dumping untreated effluents in a water body

Power supply to Baddi pharma unit snapped

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, June 22

The State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) today ordered discontinuation of power supply to Baddi-based pharmaceutical unit Torque Pharmaceuticals, which had been found dumping untreated industrial effluents and sewage in a water body in violation of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974.

It came to light during inspection by a senior environmental engineer of the SPCB on June 18 that the pharma unit was unscientifically dumping effluents and sewage in a nearby water body through a tanker. Its effluent treatment plant was also not operational and there was no separate drain for waste, which was being disposed of in a nearby nullah, said SPCB officials.

“In view of the violations by Torque Pharma management and the damage caused to the environment, action has been taken under Section 33-A of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,1974 to disconnect power supply to the firm,” said Aditya Negi, member secretary, SPCB.

The unit management was also directed not to use even diesel-run generator sets for operations and non-compliance of the orders would lead to a fine and imprisonment up to six years, as per the law.

This is not the first case where a pharma company was found dumping untreated toxic waste in water bodies in the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN) industrial belt. A similar case had surfaced in March too and the board staff had impounded a tanker dumping effluents in a river.

The water quality of the Sarsa river in Baddi, where several nullahs confluence, has not improved due to the dumping of untreated effluents by the erring units. This river has been placed under the ‘priority III’ category by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on the basis of the biological oxygen demand (BoD) assessment — it was found to be between 8 mg and 16 mg per litre, as against the safe limit of 3 mg per litre, clearly pointing towards the deteriorating quality of water.

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