Assam warns polluting units to green up or face flak

Guwahati: The Pollution Control Board Assam (PCBA) has warned air-polluting industrial units in the state to create a green belts on their periphery or face closure.

The board has given the industries, including brick kilns, stone crushing, and coal depots, a month’s time, with effect from yesterday, to create a green belt after the units failed to respond to a notification issued in April.

A green belt is a specified area for plantation of trees in a way that it functions like a sink for pollutants emitted in the air. The belts arrest the spread of pollution to the nearby areas.

The green belt will comprise several rows of trees with varying heights along the boundaries of the units. The idea is to arrest the air pollutants from spreading to the nearby areas.

“The second notification was published yesterday after none of the units complied with the one published on April 20. We expect the industries to create a green belt, involving a forest/bamboo plantation, around the periphery of their units, by June 7. The units are advised to set up the green belt either by themselves or through NGOs operating in their respective areas and report compliance to the board,” said R.M. Dubey, the board’s chairman.

There are about 5,000 coal depots, 900 brick kilns and about the same number of stone crusher units in Assam.

The area specified by the board to the industries varies from unit to unit.

“For brick kilns, the area specified for the green belt is about 5 bigha per unit, while for stone crushers, it varies between one to two bigha. For coal depots, the area varies from two/three katha to a bigha per unit,” he said.

“The board may refuse or withhold “consent for operation” if the units do not comply with the direction in accordance with the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Since it is not possible for us to visit each and every such unit, we may also penalise those who fail to comply with the direction by charging them money, and with that, assign local NGOs or agencies to do the green belt creation on their behalf,” the PCBA chairman added.

The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 authorises the Centre to protect and improve environmental quality, control and reduce pollution from all sources, and prohibit or restrict the setting and/or operation of any industrial facility on environmental grounds.

Share Button
Posted by on May 9, 2013. Filed under Assam,Breaking News,Industry. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login