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Posted at: Oct 18, 2016, 12:28 AM; last updated: Oct 18, 2016, 12:28 AM (IST)

Government to shut industries ignoring pollution norms

Vikram Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jammu, October 17

Despite the government’s orders to brick kilns, cement factories and stone crushers to adhere to pollution norms, many have ignored the stipulations, inviting the government’s ire.

Officials of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) of Jammu divisions have submitted a compliance report to the Regional Director and are awaiting orders to take action against defaulters.

As per a recent government order, industrial units not complying with pollution norms will be closed. Instructions have already been issued to the officers concerned to launch a campaign in this regard.

Owners of brick kilns, stone crushers and cement factories have been instructed to instal pollution control devices on priority to check pollution.

Any industrial unit, especially cements factories, stone crushers and brick kilns, ignoring pollution norms will be closed immediately and the government will take serious action under law against violators.

“We are already complying with government norms and have all necessary equipment and supplies required to meet government standards,” said Vikram Randhawa, president, Stone Crusher Owners Association.

He said there could be a delay in getting the renewal of licences for units, but as far as government norms were concerned, all were being strictly adhered to.

Owners had been instructed that the equipment, including dust containment-cum-suppression system, should be installed at every stone crusher and cement factory. A green belt shall be developed along the periphery of industrial units, according to norms.

Instructions with regard to construction of wind-breaking walls, especially at charging hopper and crushing places, construction of metalled roads within the premises and regular wetting of the ground on the premises had already been passed to the unit holders though the SPCB .

“We visited many brick kilns and stone crushers and found many owners not adhering to norms as per the SPCB. We prepared a detailed compliance report and submitted it to the Regional Director last week. We are awaiting government orders for action,” said AB Jandial, Divisional Officer, Samba.

He admitted that most of the brick kilns and stone crushers on the Jammu-Samba highway were located in the open, emitting effluents which could be hazardous.

“The sale and purchase of cement is being done online now and most cement factories in the area have wound up,” he said.

The Divisional Officer said no unit had a green belt on the site and equipment required to wet the ground to settle dust were nowhere to be seen.

Chaudhary Lal Singh, Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology, had recently said industrial units not adhering to pollution norms would be shut with immediate effect.

At a review meeting, the minister had been informed that in order to assess compliance status with respect to prescribed emission and effluent norms, directions were issued to the non-compliant industries.

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