Source: Hindustan Times | Posted on 15 July 2019
Pollution hazard: 1/4 of state’s ‘red industries’ located in Pune
The Pune region has the highest number of ‘red industries’ in the state and also tops in generating hazardous waste, according to the Maharashtra Economic Survey Report 2018-19.
According to the report, Pune region has a total of 5,306 ‘red industries.’ Out of these 1,377 are large industries, 322 are medium and 3,637 are small industries.
The pollution index of any industry sector is a number from 0 to 100 and the increasing value denotes the increasing degrees of pollution load from the industrial sector. Industrial sectors having a pollution index score of 60 and above belong to the red category. While hazardous wastes have properties that make them dangerous or potentially harmful to human health or to the environment.
Pune is followed by Nashik and Kolhapur where 2,680 and 2,100 red industries are present, respectively, according to the report. While a total of 20,648 red industries have been identified across the state.
Upendra Kulkarni, sub-regional officer, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Pune, said, “It is true that Pune has the highest number of red industries, but at the same time we have not ignored the number of green and white industries.”
“Along with that, we have strictly followed sewage treatment plant (STP)-related norms so there is no need to worry,” Kulkarni added.
Sunil Joshi, environmentalist, said, “As Pune is top in the list for maximum number of red industries it will have a negative impact on the health of people. The pollution control board has to put such industries in public domain.”
“MPCB officials should take stringent actions against such industries and impose heavy fines on them,” he added.
Report further states that, Pune is also top in the number of industries generating hazardous waste in 2017-18. Under this category, Pune has the highest 1,311 industries which are generating hazardous waste. Pune is followed by Kalyan (905) and Navi Mumbai (722), including small, medium and large scale industries.
There are 6,353 industries that generate hazardous waste in the state. Common facilities for the management of hazardous waste have been set up at four major sites, namely Taloja and Trans Thane Creek industrial areas of MIDC in Thane, Ranjangaon in Pune and Butibori in Nagpur. (additions awaited)
Smoggy, but unfazed: MPCB has no record of industrial air pollution
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB’s) newly-launched ‘star rating programme’ is facing staff crunch, thus, affecting the air quality monitoring system of the city, as informed by the officials.
In October 2018, MPCB identified 17 industries who were responsible for heavy air pollution in the city. However, from November 2018 onward, MPCB failed to keep a record of air pollution in the city as informed by a senior officer from MPCB.
“We are facing a staff crunch in MPCB, but this will not affect the star rating programme anymore. The programme won’t stop. As per the instructions from our secretary, we have instructed our officers, to work on this project and make it a top priority,” said Dilip Khedkar, regional officer MPCB.
The star rating programme was launched on June 5, 2017. The program discloses information on industrial particulate matter emissions in an understandable manner. The least polluting industries are rated five-stars and the most polluting industries are rated one-star. Industry, government and the public can then log onto the MPCB website to access the report cards for plants in their area.
MPCB: Stop releasing untreated water in river
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Pune division, has ordered a Chinchwad-based chemical industry to stop releasing untreated water in the river. The board on Sunday also directed the civic body to stop electricity and water supply to the company.
MPCB had received several complaints from residents and civic activists against the company for violating pollution norms. MPCB conducted an inspection of company during which it was found that the effluent treatment plant was not in operation. “Company/unit is discharging untreated effluent directly into the river. The scrubber of reaction vessel was also found in a dismantled condition. The unit has not maintained hazardous waste generation and disposal mechanism,” said the officials.
Board officers came to conclusion that, company unit knowingly and wilfully has violated the provision of the water (P and CP) Act 1974, and the Air (P and CP) Act 1981, and hazardous and other wastes (Management and Trans boundary Movement) Rules 2016.