KSPCB shuts polluting manure factory

KSPCB shuts polluting manure factory

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has recommended the closing down of a private organic manure factory, citing several operational flaws.

A number of complaints prompted KSPCB officials to conduct a spot inspection of the Chaitra Irrigation Factory in Devarakaggalahalli near Harohalli town on Kanakapura Road in the last week of August, following which they asked the factory to shut shop.

Villagers living around the factory constantly complained to the agency about the bad odour and the environmental hazards due to the factory’s release of leachate into the open area and various waterbodies. The leachate release, they claimed, killed several cows, chickens, peacocks and fishes in February.

With no response from the governmental agencies, villagers approached the city-based Bengaluru Environmental Trust (BET), whose members held a ground survey and highlighted the pollution to KSPCB officials. On Wednesday, an FIR was registered against the factory at the Harohalli police station.

“It is horrible to live in this environment after the factory’s establishment,” said Krishnamurthy, a villager from Devarakaggalahalli. “While rural areas are known to be free from pollution, the opposite is true here. Fishes are killed in the waterbodies, and cows and peacocks were killed after the leachate contamination of the water.”  

KSPCB officials said they issued a closure notice to the factory in July and the management had sought a month’s time.

“The manufacturer had asked for time. As we received one more complaint from the villagers, we conducted the spot inspection again. Now, the management had stopped production at the factory and said they would vacate soon. I’ve also asked our head office to issue another closure notice to the company,” a board official said after the inspection. 

Chaitra Irrigation’s management confirmed that they had stopped production and are shifting the factory.

“We established the factory with permission from KSPCB,” said factory owner, Sanjay.

“We weren’t aware that people could be affected this much (due to pollution). We’ve already stopped the production (of manure) and will close down the factory shortly,” he added.

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