NEW DELHI: Taking strict action against grossly polluting industries, Centre has issued closure directions to 358 industries along Ganga which were found to be polluting the river while showcase notices was issued to 180 more industries.
The action has been taken by the National Mission on Clean Ganga (NMCG) after a meeting by Principal Secretary to Prime Minister was held on August 4. A letter was also sent to Chief Secretary, Uttar Pradesh asking to focus on major industrial districts responsible for 50 percent of pollution in the river.
A drive was carried out in March-April this year to identify grossly polluting industries that don’t comply with the effluent discharge norms. Eleven technical institutions like IITs, NIITs were roped in for indentifying defaulters.
“About 1109 such industries were identified and then based on the report, closure notice has been issued to 358 and show cause notices were issued to 180. The closure orders came after these industries failed to give a satisfactorily reply about effluent discharge in the river,” said a senior official in the water resources ministry.
The closure notice has been issued if industries failed to comply the norms or did not put the Online Continuous Effluent Monitoring System (OCEMS). All polluting industries were asked to put emission monitoring system but still many have not complied with it.
“We have written to UP chief secretary last week that most of these polluting industries are confined in eight districts -- Kanpur, Unnao, Allahabad, Varanasi, Bareilly, Saharanpur, Moradabad and Meerut. If we can monitor these, it will solve nearly 50 percent pollution related problem in the river,” the official said.
Majority of polluting industries are cement, iron and steel, thermal power plants, sugar, tannery, distillery, fertilizers, paper and pulp and pesticides and Centre has asked Ganga states to ensure that the district and state administration play an important role in checking these polluting industries.
“District Ganga committees and District Magistrates must play an active role as they have the resources and manpower to check polluting industries and give feedback to NMCG to take action,” the official added.
The NMCG has been given powers under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act to take legal action against polluters.