The Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board has introduced additional heavy metal parameters, periodic checking of air quality and ordered disconnection of power supply at 41 erring industrial units in the state’s biggest industrial belt of Baddi-Barotiwala and Nalagarh.
With a multi-crore Common Effluent Treatment Plant set to be commissioned in September 2014 for scientific handling of hazardous waste generated in the area, Himachal hopes to see a major reduction in pollution levels by the end of the year.
Outlining the measures, the board’s Senior Environmental Engineer (Baddi) Praveen Gupta said efforts are afoot for a major crackdown on any kind of industrial pollution to maintain wholesomeness of water and air quality in the state. “All industries in the area will be legally bound to send hazardous waste to hazardous waste dumping facility at Dabhota (Nalagarh), where it will be stabilised after treatment,” he said.
In response to the issues recently raised by two environmental groups – Him Parivesh and Himdhara – the HPCB’s senior environmental engineer said the board was keeping strict vigil on every violator and regular monitoring of ambient air and water was in being done. “For air quality analysis, four Ambient Air Monitoring Stations are operational in the area. The average value of Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) is within the prescribed limit. Apart from this, the board has introduced additional heavy metal parameters,” he said.
Gupta said that during the past six months disconnection of electricity to 41 industries, beside 71 showcause notices, have been issued. On illegal mining, he said the it was mining department’s responsibility and not pollution control board. The board, however, monitors water quality at 31 locations.
Protesting workers took to the street refusing to pick up garbage in the area and instead spread rotting garbage across the roads.
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