NEW DELHI: The government has issued closure notices to 141 polluting units, especially those along the Ganga river, for not installing pollution monitoring devices that can enable authorities to keep a track on their emissions.
Addressing a news conference, Union Minister of State for Environment & Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said in 2015, notices were issued to 3,145 highly polluting industries under 17 categories for installation of 24x7 continuous effluent/emission monitoring systems.
Of these, 1,475 have already installed these devices and 805 industries will complete the process by the end of this month.
"By March end, 2,280 industries will be equipped with 24X7 monitoring systems. We have issued a closure order to 141 units which have not installed these machines. 321 have already been closed.
"On the Ganga bed practically, we have issued closure order but action has been processed against 403 industries in other parts of the country. So, they will also be closed if they don't fit the device. Once they fit the device, we will allow them to operate again," Javadekar said.
The pollution monitoring devices will send a message to the Ministry, Central Pollution Control Board, pollution control boards of the state concerned and the company releasing pollutants if it crosses prescribed levels.
"Until now, the procedure had been that our inspectors will visit the site and give their report which could be produced before the court. These electronic reports may not be acceptable as evidence before the court, so we have decided to bring in a Bill in this on-going budget session, that can facilitate this," Javadekar said.
24x7 continuous monitoring systems cover emission parameters like PM (Particulate Matter), SO2 (Sulphur Di-oxide), NO2 (Nitrogen Di-oxide), CO (Carbon mono-oxide), Ammonia, etc. and effluent parameters like flow, pH, BOD (Bio-chemical oxygen demand), COD (chemical oxygen demand), TSS (Total suspended solid), and Ammonical Nitrogen.
"Data connectivity has been established with 1,101 units of 17 categories with CPCB and SMS alerts and emails are automatically generated whenever standards are exceeded for more than 15 minutes.
"On an average, around 1,000 SMSs for exceedances are being generated on daily basis besides emails and these SMSs are being sent to stakeholders (CPCB, SPCB and industry).
Industries are taking action based on the information received to control emission and effluents and report this action taken on an email id firstname.lastname@example.org," Javadekar added.
Some of the industries like oil refineries and petrochemical have requested time upto June 30 since in installation of online monitoring systems for parameters like PM and CO requires shutdown which is carried out as per schedule decided by the Ministry of Petroleum.
Power plants have also requested time upto June 30 for installation of online monitoring system.
"Not only they fitted it, they have improved their processes. They have improved their effluent-treatment mechanism, primary clarifier and for chimneys they also replaced their air bag filters and several other measures.
"This is a big step forward for regulation of pollution and this is a big boost to the Swachh Bharat campaign," the minister said.