Telangana State Pollution Control Board order to RFCL may hit supply of fertilisers

Though RFCL has not stopped production, sources said that urea and ammonia production has been reduced by 50 per cent.

Published: 31st May 2022 02:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2022 02:37 AM   |  A+A-

Chemical Fertilisers

Image used for representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

PEDDAPALLI: The Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) which ordered Ramagundam Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd (RFCL) to stop production for violating green norms, said: "You are also hereby directed to immediately stop all industrial activities with immediate effect from the date of this order."

"You are directed to note that if you continue to operate your industry even after of these orders, you will be liable for prosecution in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of the first class under section 41(2) of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act, 1988, the punishment for which includes imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year and six months, which may be extended to six years and with fine," the order stated.

However, the RFCL has not stopped production. But, sources said that urea and ammonia production has been reduced by 50 per cent. The RFCL authorities also brought the issue to the notice of Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers.    

The TSPCB authorities issued two notices -- one under Water Amendment Act 1988 and another under AIR Amendment Act 1987. A task force team of the Board inspected factory four days ago, where 2,200 tonnes of ammonia and 3,850 tonnes of prilled urea were being produced per day by using natural gas as raw material.  

The Board took this decision based on a complaint lodged by local TRS Ramagundam MLA Korukanti Chandar that ammonia gas leakage from the industry. He reportedly had differences with the officials of RFCL and also staged a protest in front of factory in the past, demanding the RFCL employ local youth. Around 500 locals were taken in by the RFCL as outsourcing personnel, apparently under pressure from the MLA.

However, the RFCL management later terminated all the 500 outsourcing employees. Now, the MLA is pressurising the management to reinstate them. With the fresh development, the RFCL management is facing a piquant situation. During his recent visit to the State, PM Narendra Modi was supposed to inaugurate a plant. However, RFCL inauguration was not included in the itinerary of the Prime Minister.

The PCB notices were issued based on a complaint from TRS MLA may turn into Centre-State face-off. The State has 11 per cent share in RFCL. If the production is stopped, it may impact the supply of fertilisers.

FINDINGS OF THE TASK FORCE

  • RFCL has not provided any condenser system for stripper gasses as per CFE condition. They observed emissions/leakages 

  • The stripping gases are directly let out into atmosphere and it was not in operation at the time of inspection

  • The industry has no environment monitoring cell for effective implementation in control of pollution measures and monitoring. Ammonia are displayed in negative values, indicating that the sensors are not calibrated properly



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