Peddapalli: In a major jolt to the management of the Ramagundam Fertilisers Company Limited (RFCL), the Pollution Control Board (PCB) on Sunday issued a notice to stop production of fertilisers and confiscated its Rs 12 lakh guarantee amount, following several complaints by the locals about environmental pollution caused by the unit.
The Centre had recently taken up revival works of the RFCL was taken up at a cost of Rs 6,120.5 crore and the plant was expected to produce around 12.5 lakh metric tonnes of urea per year. The officials started a trial run of production of urea from February 28, 2020.
But the people living in the vicinity of the plant have complained of a lot of problems since then, with not only leakage of gases from its ammonia plant but also with the pollution of water due to its effluents. The complaints of leakage of gas was reported from Veerlapally, Lakshmipur, Yelkapallygate, Vetalnagar, Shanthinagar, Tilaknagar, Gowthaminagar, Sanjaygandhinagar and Chaitanyapuri Colony.
RFCL union president Ambati Naresh alleged that poor quality work had led to leakage of gas which was affecting not only the residents nearby but also the workers.
The company earlier had a separate canal to carry away waste water, which has since been encroached upon. Now, hundreds of cusecs of water is being released into the drainage flowing through Indiranagar, Markandeya Colony, Sanjay Gandhinagar to reach the Godavari river. This is resulting in the pollution of groundwater and the water in the Godavari.
Last year, Gorre Raju, general secretary of the BJP Ramagundam corporation unit, had taken the issue to the notice of Union minister G. Kishan Reddy in New Delhi who in turn asked the RFCL management to take immediate preventive steps, but in vain.
Meanwhile, after facing a lot of criticism from the locals, TRS Ramagundam MLA Korakanti Chander Patel lodged a complaint with the TS Pollution Control Board alleging that the management of the RFCL was not taking measures to prevent the leakage of gas and release of effluents from the factory as a result of which people living in the surrounding areas were facing a lot of problems apart from the pollution reaching the Godavari river.
The PCB deployed a special task force official who inspected the Ramagundam plant and its surroundings for over a week and submitted a report which confirmed that the pollution problems existed. Based on the report, the PCB took action.