New Delhi: Heeding a plea to check air pollution from industries in Uttarakhand, the National Green Tribunal Wednesday directed the State Pollution Control Board (USPCB) to inspect all air pollution control devices installed in iron and steel units in Jasodharpur Industrial Area (JIA) near Kotdwar.
A bench headed by Justice U D Salvi directed USPCB to look into the efficacy of air pollution control devices and the electrical interlocking devices installed at these units.
"We direct Uttarakhand State Pollution Control Board to check all these devices installed in respect all the units and report back to us on the next date of hearing," the bench said.
The matter is now listed for next hearing on September 16.
The bench also directed these industrial units to submit an year-wise data regarding annual production of each units, slag produced and disposed from these units.
It also asked these units to place before the tribunal if there was any "commercial" demand for this slag.
"The District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police of the District Kotdwar shall report about the steps taken by them for removal of the slag dumped in the river or river bed," the tribunal said.
This came after the counsel for industrial units submitted that commercial exploitation of slag was feasible for manufacturing of cement and bricks.
Earlier, the bench had constituted an expert committee to look into alleged violation of prescribed standards for emission by iron industries in the state.
It had also pulled up the USPCB for failing to monitor the industries causing air pollution which already have consent to operate.
The tribunal, on February 18, directed the USPCB to close all industrial units in JIA that are functioning without the consent of the board.
The tribunal had also held that the inspection report shall clearly indicate the functioning of these units along with the stack and ambient air quality samples and the analysis be included in the report.
According to USPCB, out of 18 industries, 10 have been granted consent to operate till 2014-2015, while the other eight have not been granted consent and their applications are pending before the board.
The tribunal was hearing a petition by Shiv Prasad Dabral who had alleged that several industries were operating illegally, without consent from the state pollution control board or an environmental clearance in JIA near Kotdwar.
The petition had said that these industries were also a major source of air pollution in the area and were a public health hazard.
The plea had alleged that the units have also been flouting industrial pollutant discharge norms by dumping the foundry slag on the banks of Sigaddi Srot river.