Pollution control board officials accused of colluding with 'polluter'

Pollution control board officials accused of colluding with 'polluter'

The member-secretary (MS), Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), and its chief environment officer (CEO) are under the scanner after a City-based industrialist filed a complaint with the Lokayukta against them for allegedly colluding with a ‘polluting’ industry in Peenya Industrial area.

Surya Hard Chrome Industry (SHCI), the complainant Thrinetra M V alleged, has been discharging chromium effluents resulting in polluting groundwater. The complaint is directed against board member-secretary Vijay Kumar and CEO B G Mohan Krishna accusing them of inaction.

In his complaint dated October 17, 2014, Thrinetra alleged that the indiscriminate release of effluents had rendered water from his borewell non-potable since 2013. A complaint had been lodged with the KSPCB on November 11, 2013.

Thrinetra said from day one the authorities had not been responding. “There was a delay in getting the lab report and the replies received were vague. Every step of progress required several emails and follow-ups. The analysis report of borewell water collected by regional officer on January 28, 2014, was found to have 61.5mg per litre of chromium against the standard of 0.5mg/ litre. This confirms chrome effluents,” according to the complaint, a copy of which is available with Deccan Herald.

Stating that Surya Chrome had not bothered to respond to an inquiry by the Pollution Control Board, Thrinetra said, “After serving a notice and seeking objections, the official issued another letter on March 18, 2014, to the industry for a personal hearing on March 25, 2014.

The industry did not attend the hearing. The laboratory results have proved seepage of chromium effluents in our borewell water. Member-secretary, KSPCB, is aware of the cause of pollution as the copy of the notice of senior environment officer is sent to him. I suspect the collusion of MS and CEO as they are unnecessarily giving more opportunity to the polluting industry without any reason.”

Stating that plants in his garden had withered, Thrinetra said, “This is because the chromium salt in the groundwater is high and will cause serious health hazards if no action is taken immediately.”

Thrinetra also submitted with his complaint proceedings of the personal hearing conducted on July 24, 2014, by CEO B G Mohan Krishna, where Surya Chrome denied polluting the groundwater.

Thrinetra said, “The report of the regional officer indicting the SHCI for contaminating the groundwater was submitted during the hearing.  But the CEO, instead of closing the industry, diluted the issue by recommending a third-party investigation.”

Vamanacharya, chairman, KSPCB, said he was not aware of the issue as he was yet to receive a copy of the complaint from the Lokayukta.

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