BENGALURU: A long and sustained campaign by residents living around the Graphite India factory in Whitefield finally led to some action from the government on Tuesday as the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has committed to conducting an inspection of the factory premises on Wednesday. The factory, which residents allege is working without the requisite permissions, has been causing high levels of air pollution in the area according to those who commute and stay nearby.
Whitefield Rising, a group of citizens from the area, met the Chairman of the KSPCB along with Bengaluru North Member of Parliament (MP) P C Mohan, and they were given an assurance by the KSPCB that the body would not renew the ‘consent for operation’ for the factory. “We met the KSPCB and they have given us an assurance that the consent would not be provided. We have to see what comes out of the inspection on Wednesday,” P C Mohan told TNIE.
The carbon and graphite manufacturing company, has been criticised for the longest time by residents who even started a petition to have it relocated. A foul smell that emanates from the factory combined with black dust deposits cover a 700 meter radius around the plant. “The roads are covered with soot and you can see the effect that the dust has had on the roads and other public infrastructure,” said Aparajita Das, a resident of Doddanekkundi, where the factory is located.
Besides the inspection, slotted for 10.30 am on Wednesday, continuous monitoring of air quality from a mobile van will also be done, the citizens were assured. The group, in several tweets, also said that Graphite India’s licence expired in June and they have been operating with an expired one till now.
“We are filing a criminal complaint at the Mahadevapura Police Station against Graphite India Limited for continuing operations when they do not have consent,” tweeted Whitefield Rising, on Tuesday.