Hyderabad: The Central Pollution Control Board once again exposed the lack of respect for environmental laws by pharmaceutical companies in Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh. It has sent closure notices to 26 pharma companies in TS and five in AP.
The number of pharma companies that have been sent closure notices in Telangana is second only to Maharashtra (28) in the country. Most of these companies produce drugs for export to developed countries like the United States, Canada and European nations.
With 36 industrial units receiving closure notices from CPCB, Telangana stands third, on par with Maharashtra, in this respect. Apart from pharma companies, 10 other units each in AP and TS including distillaries, thermal power plants, paper and pulp, sugar and aluminum industries got closure notices.
In AP, ANRAK Aluminum Limited has been warned against operating its aluminum refinery and smelting unit without installing an online pollution monitoring system.
The closure notices come after several attempts by CPCB for the last two years to check pollution caused by industries by making them install online effluent monitoring systems. In February 2014, CPCB had issued orders to all industries to install the online effluent monitoring systems. Subsequently it ordered all industries having Zero Liquid Discharge systems to install web cameras and flow meters by March 31, 2015.
However, this was not implemented by many companies and the deadline was extended till June 30, 2015, after which show-cause notices were issued in July and August. Again, many companies did not respond and finally in 2016 the CPCB decided to send closure notices to 442 such non-compliant industrial units across the country.
Even a government-run unit contributed to pollution. The B-powerhouse of Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SSCL) in Khammam also received a closure notice. Officials of SCCL said that the power plant was shut down before the CPCB sent its notice.
However, the power plant, which was established in 1956, was being run without any thought for environment for more than five decades, until it was shut down last year....