PARADIP: Resentment is brewing among residents, environmentalists and trade union leaders of the Port Town over non-installation of online emission and effluent monitoring system by industries.
In 2014, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had directed 17 categories of highly polluting industries, common hazardous waste incinerators, biomedical waste incinerators and common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) to instal online system for strengthening monitoring and compliance through self-regulatory mechanism. The online system has been installed in Paradip Refinery of IOCL, Paradeep Phosphate Ltd, IFFCO, Essar Steel plant, Essar Power plant and Goa Carbon factory which come under these 17 categories. However, no direction has been given to industries which are handling iron ore minerals to instal the system.
In 2015, a sub-committee, which was constituted by Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) to check pollution from iron one, had recommended that the industries which have been producing the mineral or handling it, having capacity of 5 MTPA and more, should instal continuous ambient air quality monitoring system (CAAQMS).
Similarly, despite a directive of CPCB, several industries are yet to share data relating to emissions in the public domain though a majority of them have come forward to share data. The air quality index data of these industries have been uploaded to the website of the Board since last week. This helps authorities monitor the air quality and take remedial measures.
In 2016, the CPCB had entrusted the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi with the preparation of a comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI) in Paradip. The survey, that made a composite measurement of air and water pollution and land degradation, found the level of pollution to be 69.6, an index that shows the area borders on being a critically polluted zone. The critically polluted zone stands at 70.
At least two air quality monitoring stations have been installed in Talcher and Jharuguda to check pollution in the areas. But no initiative has been taken to set up the facility at Paradip where pollution level has touched 70, they said.
Meanwhile, OSPCB has advised PPT Chief Engineer to cover railway wagons and trucks with tarpaulin to avoid air pollution. This apart, the plant management has been asked to take up water sprinkling in and around loading and unloading areas, said Regional Officer of OSPCB Mukesh Mahalinga.
Earlier, environmentalists had alleged that the online monitoring system on emissions is yet to be installed in PPT which handles about 70 MT of iron ore in Paradip. There were profuse fugitive dust emissions from handling of iron ore in port, railway wagons, trucks transportation and loading and unloading of iron ore in vessels due to lack of effluent treatment mechanism, they had claimed.