Of the 1,761 stone crusher units operating in Odisha, 1,009 are working without the permission of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), the Assembly was informed on Tuesday.
Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray said this to a query from Santosh Singh Saluja (Cong).
Saluja criticised the State Government for not taking any action against the crusher units which are functioning without permission.
Similarly, out of 19 hot mix machines, four have not taken permission from the OSPCB, the minister said.
The Government has served closure notice on 379 crusher units running sans permission and 630 units have been served show-cause notice, he said.
The minister admitted that lack of infrastructure has posed an obstacle in taking action against illegal units. He said the Forest Department has submitted proposal to the Finance Department for increasing manpower and infrastructure of the former’s enforcement wing.
Attempts are being made with the help of police and the district administration to take steps against such units, Routray said.
KV Singhdeo (BJP) said the Industries Department should ensure that crusher units obtained permission from the OSPCB.
No unit should be allowed to function without getting permission from the OSPCB, he said.
Adikand Sethi (CPI) expressed concern over large number of crusher units running on roadsides.
The minister said as per the rules, crusher units should not be allowed within 500 metres of the NH.
The department has served closure notice on the units which have violated the guidelines, the minister said.
Amar Prasad Satpathy (BJD) said a task force, taking officials from the Forest and Environment, the Industries and Home departments, should be formed to deal with the crusher units which are functioning illegally.
Several other members cutting across party lines expressed concern over the pollution created by crusher units.