BENGALURU: The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has issued closure orders to 225 industries located in the Vrishabhavathi river catchment area for violating pollution norms or operating without its approval.
As many as 178 of the industries which are operating without the board’s approval are located at Rajarajeshwarinagar, while 47 others which are found to have violated pollution norms are at Malleswaram, Sankey Tank area, Rajajinagar, Vijayanagar, Deepanjalinagar, Banashankari and Nayandahalli.
In its report submitted to Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty, the KSPCB stated that closure orders have already been slapped on 32 industries which violated pollution norms while it is in the process of a similar action against 15 others.
All the 178 industries operating without the KSPCB’s approval have been issued closure orders.The report was submitted in response to orders issued by the Lokayukta in November last year following a complaint filed by activists H S Doreswamy and M Lakshmikanth on the pollution of the Vrushabhavathi.
During a two-month-long special drive, KSPCB inspected industries, commercial buildings, apartment complexes and hospitals in Vrushabhavathi valley spread across 170 sq km.
The KSPCB report also stated that there are a total of 119 apartment complexes and 61 of them have installed sewage treatment plants (STPs), while 51 others discharge sewage through underground drains. Seven complexes do not have an STP.
It also wrote to the Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) to disconnect water and electricity supplies respectively,it said.
The inspection also revealed that some residential complexes directly discharge sewage into drains which opened into the river. The BWSSB is directed to take immediate steps to ensure STPs are installed there.
The Lokayukta has now given three months’ time to BWSSB, BBMP and KSPCB to submit a status report on steps taken toprevent discharge of pollutants into Vrushabhavathi.
Polluter to pay
Industries have an obligation to prevent discharge of pollutants and if they fail to do so, the principle of ‘polluter to pay’ will have to be applied, the Lokayukta warned.