Bengaluru: After relentless protests by local residents, spearheaded by Whitefield Rising, against the air pollution caused by Graphite India Ltd (GIL) factory in Whitefield, the KSPCB officials carried out an inspection on Wednesday and claimed the unit had violated many norms.
KSPCB Chairman Lakshman, however, expressed inability to act against the unit as a case was pending before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
“I and other KSPCB officials inspected the GIL unit and found that most norms have been violated. Air pollution sensors were kept in the wrong direction and the roof was also broken. I also met the residents association and discussed the issue. But we are not in a position to act immediately, because a case is pending before NGT. But we can move the tribunal’s principal bench and appeal for speedy disposal,” Lakshman said.
If GIL loses the case, the factory could either face a closure or relocation.
Whitefield Rising member Zibi Jamal told Deccan Chronicle, "The soot from GIL turns walkways in the vicinity slippery and even household items, including plants, turn black. There is no regular cleaning of the roads by any of the civic bodies. We wanted the KSPCB to place air quality monitoring system at GIL junction on a permanent basis and make the data available in the public domain.”
She said that on Wednesday Whitfield Rising members met Lakshman and he assured them that KSPCB will decline consent for operation as GIL was violating norms. “He also assured us that action will be taken to close it down,” she added.
In 2012, the KSPCB had issued a closure order, following which the factory management had moved the appeals court, which in the following year ruled in GIL’s favour.
The residents of Whitefield then appealed to NGT against the order and now three petitions were pending before it.