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Government shuts 150 industrial units along Ganga to curb pollution

PTI 21 Jan 2016, 0:02:27 IST

New Delhi: Sending out a strong message, the Environment Ministry has ordered the closure of 150 industrial units, including sugar mills and tanneries, along the Ganga river after these failed to install 24X7 effluent monitoring systems. 

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had formulated an action plan for abatement of industrial pollution in the Ganga river to reduce effluent generation and organic load, and claimed that there has been a “significant” reduction in industrial pollution in the river. 

“There has been substantial progress in installation of 24X7 Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring Systems (OCEMS). Out of 764 Gross Polluting Industries (GPI), 514 units have already installed OCEMS while 94 are in the process. 

”Closure orders have been issued to 150 remaining units and responses of other six units are under examination,” Javadekar told reporters here. 

He said even after persuading these industries for a year, they did not respond resulting in closure orders. 

”This is the biggest action taken till date on the issue of abatement of pollution in Ganga or any river in the country. When they give action plan, order the machines, then we can think about giving them permission. Till then they will be closed,” Javadekar said. 

Among the units closed include nine paper and pulp units, 28 textile units, six slaughter houses, nine sugar units, four distilleries, 68 tanneries, 10 chemical units and 14 other units. 

Javadekar also said that CPCB had constituted vigilance teams and carried out inspections during December-end last year and early January, 2016 of 130 industries which included 48 pulp and paper, 54 sugar and 28 distilleries units to assess progress in implementation of action plans. 

He said that the inspections were specifically mandated to confirm the facts relating to conservation of water, reduction in waste water generation and pollution load.