Monitoring of 2,800 industries begins

The government has operationalised an online monitoring system to check if 2,800 highly polluting industries are releasing clean air and water in the environment from their plants, failure of which would attract penal action from the government.

More than 1,300 industrial units completed the instrumentation allowing the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to watch their activities round the clock in real time.

Others have been given time till September 30 to finish installing the gadgets needed for surveillance.

From an initial directory of 3,206 industries, the CPCB shortlisted 2,800 highly polluting units that needed to be monitored continuously. They belong to 17 categories like pulp and paper, distillery, sugar, tanneries, power plants, cement, oil refineries, fertiliser, chlor alkali, dye, cement, pesticides and pharmaceuticals.

As many as 920 units are on-line with CPCB keeping an eye on them. Another 400 odd are in the process of becoming the zero liquid discharge units that will not release any water outside. The ZLD units have multiple tamper-proof cameras to video-record their operations.

“The video feed at the moment would not be transmitted to the CPCB due to non-availability of  bandwidth. The companies have to record and make the video available to state pollution control board or CPCB whenever required,” A Sudhakar, CPCB additional director told Deccan Herald.

Monitoring of other sensors are easy as they generate small data files that are transmitted from industrial plants to state and central pollution control board offices. The CPCB now has a team of close to 40 personnel for the surveillance job.

“For any anomaly in the data or violation of the safe limits, SMS alert is sent to the plant operations manager so that faulty parts are rectified immediately,” he said.

Special emphasis is being given to 630 industrial units on the banks of Ganga, which include 440 tanneries in Kanpur and Unnao. “All of them will become ZLD units for which Central Leather Research Institute has come out with a detailed project report. The scheme would be partly funded by the Centre and partly by the state and the industrial units,” said Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.

The minister said the government would come out with five draft waste management rules for solid waste, plastic waste, e-waste, biomedical waste and fly ash.

The aim is to improve their management practices and the public has been given time till July 31 for comment.

The new rules would be applicable for 7,935 towns unlike the past when all these rules were applicable in big urban metropolis.

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