UB beer unit in Karnataka operating without clearance: Govt

The Karnataka government on Saturday said it has instructed the State Pollution Control Board to take "suitable action" against United Breweries.

Updated: Oct 20, 2012, 19:22 PM IST

Bangalore: The Karnataka government on Saturday said it has instructed the State Pollution Control Board to take "suitable action" against United Breweries which was found running its beer production unit at Nanjanagud in Mysore district without operational clearance by the Board.
Ecology and Environment Minister Sogadu Shivanna, who visited the unit three weeks ago, told reporters here today that it`s confirmed from records of the Excise Department and water and electricity bills that the factory is operating "unofficially" in the past few months.

It was noted that sewage and effluent treatment plant was established at the unit without the prior clearance of the Board, he said.

As per the environment clearance, the unit should have created green zone in 33 per cent land of its premises but the management had not taken such a step. "Instructions have been issued to the industry (United Breweries) and the State Pollution Control Board officials to take suitable action".

The Board has been instructed to take action against its officials who recommended to give CFO (fire clearance) despite non-completion of effluent treatment plant and other drawbacks and short-comings, the Minister said.

Shivanna said during his visit to Harihar Polyfibres (a division of Aditya Birla Group), it was noticed that it was letting out effluents after being treated at the plant to the Tungabhadra river. But the "colour" is more in the treated water because of lignin content, and the company has been strictly instructed to cut the colour part substantially.

The Minister said CIPSA RIC India Ltd at Hirehalli in Tumkur taluk and Gramox Paper and Board Ltd at Nanjanagud were found to operate without clearance of the Board.

He also said that during his visit to regional laboratory of the Board at Davanagere, it was found that many of the equipment there were in a state of neglect.

Shivanna criticised the Board, saying it`s not doing its job effectively despite the powers to crack down on polluting units and said blame is unfairly put at the doorstep of the government.

The Minister said the government is considering to take action against the former Chairman of the Board, A S Sadashivaiah, who retired last month, as he blamed the Board for failing to discharge its duties leading to deterioration of ecology and environment.

He said the Government`s intention is not to close down industrial units who violate environmental norms but to make them implement measures to check pollution.

PTI