Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday stayed for one month, the order of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to close down Travancore Titanium Products Limited (TTPL), Vettukad, Thiruvananthapuram. The CPCB issued the order citing the absence of an Effective Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP). The court asked state government to file a statement in the case. The court issued the order on a petition filed by Titanium General Labour Union (CITU), Titanium Products Labour Union (INTUC), Titanium Emp-loyees Coordination Cou-ncil (TECC) and Titanium Officers Association, all seeking to quash the order.
The deadline stipulated by the Supreme Court to make the treatment plant operational expired on May 22. KSEB chairman has issued an order to cut power to the plant. Following this CPCB issued the order. According to the petitioners, the order is illegal as it had been issued without complying with the mandatory requirement under the Environment Protection Rules. The CPCB did not consider that the ETP had become operational. "The livelihood of the staff and their families are adversely affected by the sudden closure of the company. No grave injury is being caused to the environment as on the date of issuing the closure order," the petitioners argued.
State government had allocated funds for setting up an ETP in the budget and a company given the tender had completed the works during 2012-13. Commissioning work was started by the company in 2014 and it has been conducting trial runs. However, that was ignored by the CPCB. An ETP with a processing capacity of six million litres per day started regular operation on May 23 this year. Therefore, the pollution problem was already addressed through the setting up and commissioning of the ETP when the closure order was passed by CPCB, they submitted.