HYDERABAD: Conditions in the Patancheru-Bollaram industrial cluster, that was declared as a ‘Critically Polluted Area’ in 2009 by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), have not yet improved much in the last eight years as the moratorium on new industries continues to remain in force due to a variety of drawbacks the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) has to address. As per a document accessed by Express, a team of two officials from CPCB’s zonal office in Bengaluru, during an inspection of the area, found many shortcomings and recommended extension of the moratorium. The TSPCB is mum over the CPCB team’s inspection which took place two years ago.
One major loophole the CPCB team pointed out is that the moratorium on new industries is not being implemented in spirit by TSPCB as it is restricting establishment of only such industries that require Environmental Clearance (EC) and all other polluting industries are allowed to set up in the cluster, adding to pollution count.
It also pointed out that the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Abatement Action Plan by TSPCB for remediating the critically-polluted industrial cluster, covered issues related only to pharmaceutical industries and ignored pollution caused by other polluting industries like steel plants, cement ready-mix plants and granite cutting and polishing units. The CPCB team found pollution control and safety norms to be completely neglected in some of the non-pharmaceutical units in the cluster and found that the granite units were dumping their wastes on the roadside and near Asanikunta lake.
During the inspection it was also seen that the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) meters in the polluted industrial cluster had the capacity to measure VOCs in Parts Per Million(PPM) whereas for accurate measurements, it should be in Parts Per Billion (PPB). VOCs are the main reason for the problem of foul smell in areas surrounding industrial units.
The recommendations by CPCBC include installation of more cameras in industrial units to cover their entire operations and also a thorough study to find out illegal discharge of industrial effluents into Asanikunta lake from the Bollaram IDA and the action initiated against the culprits. There have been some visible decrease in the respirable suspended particulate matter and sulphur dioxide in air due to measures taken by TSPCB over the years.