Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has identified and categorised as “red” 195 factories and small-scale industries (SSIs) across the state, for not complying with the Board’s norms in terms of the level of pollution caused by them.
Notices for closure have been sent to all of them. A majority of these industries comprise drug manufacturers, plastic firms, sugar factories etc. that have a huge disposal of byproducts. Others industries in the “orange” category have been ordered a percentage decrease in their production or adoption of strict correctional measures; some of their bank assurances have also been forfeited. A total of 727 inspections were conducted in 2012. This year, 308 were conducted.
After the inspections, the industries were categorised into red, orange and green zones wherein green stood for minimal pollution, orange for 30 to 40 per cent pollution, which needed to adopt correctional measures, and red for violators.
The inspections were carried out by six task force teams of the PCB placed across the state. “Whenever there are violations, we issue notices and call them for hearings. Sometimes we issue closure notice for a temporary time frame, during which these small scale industries have to adopt correctional measures; sometimes we impose on them to decrease productivity.
“Zonal officers review this process of closure and yes, most of them fail to comply with the notices. So, we have to go back and make sure they are shut down completely,” a PCB official informed.
He added that these figures were not perennial. “If there is negligence or any major fault with the machines, then the pressure for adopting correctional measures varies. Whereas, there are some who will continue to go about with the same process and not adopt any measure to decrease pollution,” he said.
After the APPCB reviews the situation, it issues a revoking order only after which a factory can become functional again. “Once they have everything in place, their representatives will represent the APPCB with a report. We will reevaluate the details and then revoke their closure,” another PCB official informed.
Sanjay Kumar, member secretary of APPCB informed, “We have regular task force meetings every month and we regularly inspect these industries. Depending on the nature of the pollution, we decide what kind of correctional measures can be suggested.”...