Wednesday, April 4, 2012

19 illegal Stone Crushers in Sidhra

A total nineteen (19) industrial units including stone crushers, automobiles showrooms/ workshops are operating illegally in Sidhra area of Jammu while only two units have given consent to operate from the State Pollution Control Board.

Replying to a question of PDP member Murtaza Ahmed Khan in the Upper House today, Minister for Forests and Environment Mian Altaf said that out of the 21 units including showrooms/ workshops and stone crushers operating in Sidhra area only two have been granted consent by the SPCB. Two cases were under process while notices have been served to several other units. He claimed that after obtaining all clearances from the concerned departments, Industries and Commerce Department grants registration to such units.

Altaf said in terms of section 21 of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981, the entrepreneurs are required to obtain prior consent of the State Pollution Control Board for setting up or operation of the industrial units. Similarly under Water Act of 1974, prior consent is needed from the Board. The building permission is needed from JDA.

When asked about any legal action taken against remaining 19 others operating units without valid permission, the minister said closure orders were issued against two units. The Government wants to take some lenient view and give some time to the unit holders as many of them were small unit holders. M/s Shiv Shakti Batteries Bye Pass Road Sidhra has consent /NOC up to March 2013 while M/s Trehan Automobiles Pvt Ltd (Hill View Honda), authorized Sales and service Station Sidhra has permission to operate up to December 2013.

In response to yet another supplementary, the minister maintained that one complaint was received against Eicher Motors, Sidhra which was allegedly operating illegally without consent of the SPCB and bereft of pollution control devices/ measures. The closure of the unit was ordered on 16-08-2011 and subsequently, the unit holder installed the effluent treatment plant (ETP) and adopted measures for collection of the hazardous waste. The PCB was verifying the same. Altaf assured the member to constitute a special team of officers to visit the area and examine and take strict action if these unit holders do not respond within next two weeks.

While replying to another question of Jahangir Mir, the minister said 2658 closures have been established by Forest department in the State in last three years, which included 101 in Rajouri and 95 in Poonch. He disclosed that an amount of Rs 69.62 crore has been spent on these closures for plantation and fencing. Rs 307.20 lakh was spent in Rajouri and Rs 220.46 lakh in Poonch districts. Replying to another question he said the life of fence posts is less than the time taken for plantation to grow up. Hence these posts are not re-used for making new closures.

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