BENGALURU: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) restored the 2012 closure order on Graphite India Ltd (GIL) factory in Whitefield, issued by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), in a hearing on Monday. This follows a recent Supreme Court order where GIL was recognised as a polluter under the polluter pays principle.
Appointing KSPCB as the nodal agency, it also ordered a study by an independent body, comprising the Central Pollution Control Board, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and KSPCB, to carry out stack monitoring, and ambient air quality checks of the factory and surrounding areas.
It also ordered a study on pollution sources, which has to be filed within two months. The next hearing is on April 8.
The GIL plant on ITPL Main Road manufactures graphite electrodes, which causes high level of air pollution because of the graphite dust generated. The dust settles on the houses and water sources in the vicinity of the industry and is compounded by vehicular pollution.
KSPCB had constituted a technical committee which visited the plant. Several directions were issued for mitigation of pollution, including payment of Rs 50 lakh, and steps to be taken for suppressing dust emission by April 2012. GIL failed to comply with the directions of the committee, leading to several proceedings launched against it by KSPCB.
Advocate Srinivas Kotni, fighting on behalf of residents, said, “As those directions were not complied with, KSPCB in June 2012, ordered the factory’s closure. This was challenged by Graphite India.”