CHENNAI: The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal has levied a hefty environmental compensation of Rs 9,05,40,000 on nine industries located in Manali industrial complex for violating emission norms.
The industries, which include Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited, North Chennai Thermal Power Station, Tamil Nadu Petroproducts Limited, Manali Petrochemicals Limited, Madras Fertilizers Limited and NTPC Tamil Nadu Energy Company Ltd, have exceeded stack emission level prescribed by TNPCB for a combined period of 2,012 days between April 2019 to December 2020.
The environmental compensation was assessed by the NGT-appointed joint committee that analysed the Online Continuous Emission Monitoring Sensors (OCEMS) connected to the Care Air Centre of TNPCB and substantiated the violation. The TNPCB said it inspected the units and issued directions under Air and Water Acts for implementing the improvement measures.
Besides penalising the industries, the NGT bench in its order has directed the TNPCB to constitute a dedicated team to monitor OCEMS data, which was found inconsistent or static for several days raising suspicion that industries are bypassing the monitoring system.
The TNPCB is also directed to verify the list of industries that are yet to install the OCEMS system. In case, some of the units have not yet been mandated to install the OCEMS system, the TNPCB has been directed to issue instructions to all the units to install the OCEMS system within the shortest possible time, failing which appropriate action should be taken.
The NGT has asked the industries to switch over to cleaner fuels and install a Flue Gas Desulfurisation system. The Central Pollution Control Board has been asked to come out with stricter pollution norms in industrial areas.
“We fail to understand why there should be prolonged periods where data is not captured by the OCEMS system. The compensation levied will be utilised by the TNPCB for converting existing roads in Manali industrial areas into concrete roads to minimise the dust emissions from vehicular movement, the NGT said.