Visakhapatnam: Authorities are turning a blind eye to industries in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the state violating pollution norms and flouting rules was drawing sharp criticism.
The Opposition took up the issue with the Union environment ministry and submitted a letter seeking it's intervention. Of the 47 SEZs developed by AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and private players, 18 were related to pharmaceuticals, textiles, food processing, chemicals, bio-diesel and multi-products which could have a severe impact on environment. A number of them were now IT/ITes SEZs.
The SEZs lacked adequate capacity effluent treatment plants to ensure that water bodies did not get polluted due to the release of untreated sewage from industries. Most times, software tools of the ambient air quality measuring stations in the industries, giving real-time pollution measures, were defunct. As a result, data is unavailable online. Highlighting the violation of pollution norms in Atchutapuram SEZ in Visakhapatnam, Rajya Sabha member (YSRC) V. Vijayasai Reddy met Union environment minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and urged him to constitute an inquiry to fix up the responsibility on officials.
“The Atchutapuram SEZ should have three Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CEPT) and a Sewerage Treatment Plant (7 MLD) as per terms and conditions. However, the SEZ was yet to set up the plant, which is affecting the health of the people residing around it. Greenbelt was also not developed as per the condition,” he alleged.
APPCB (Vizag) head R. Lakshmi Narayana said, “The CEPT will be built in phases.”...