Even as the BJP-Shiv Sena government is keen on bringing more industries and investments to the state, the State Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) that gives environment clearances to these industries have sought more checks on them after they are cleared by the committee.
“After clearances by us, it is essential these industries follow rules of effluent treatment. In the past one year, we have issued clearances to a number of industries but it is important that MPCB conducts mandatory checks on them from time to time,’’ said TC Benjamin, Chairman, SEAC .
Working on a mission mode, considering the high rate of pollution in the city and state, he said that only regular checks can ensure such practice. SEAC will ask MPCB to check and prepare detailed reports of industries that have been given clearances in the past one year, he added.
After the SEAC was constituted on February 14 last year, it has cleared as many as 200 projects, of which nearly half are industries. “Since MIDC areas have a common effluent treatment facility, we have asked these industries to give us a detailed compliance report on their effluent treatment system and how they are complying with norms,’’ said Benjamin.
Besides industries, the SEAC has also observed that many municipalities in the state do not follow a proper waste disposal system, with a large part of the liquid waste going untreated. “We have asked them to follow a zero liquid discharge system,’’ he said.
The SEAC has observed that municipalities are releasing effluent into rivers just like most of the industries. The panel has pointed out that such waste affects the food chain and it is important that the waste treated and not discharged into water bodies. It has also noted that some byproducts are sold to unauthorised dealers while some are emptied into water bodies.
With both solid and liquid waste being a major pollution hazard for industries, the SEAC has asked MPCB to conduct foolproof monitoring of industries.
An official from the environment department said that when industries seek permissions and clearances are given, thereafter checks are not as frequent and there is a lackadaisical approach towards it.
“Frequent checks, especially on industrial effluent discharge and municipal waste discharge, are very important. We will conducts checks on all the industries issued clearances by the SEAC,’’ added the official.
PK Mirashe, assistant secretary (technical), MPCB, said the state has four facilities at Ranjangaon, Gutibori TTC and Saloja to dump hazardous industrial waste. While for effluent treatment, permissions are given only after checks are conducted and there are frequent checks for big industries and the same will be increased for small scale industries.