New Delhi: Acting tough on industrial
units polluting the Ganga, Central Pollution Control Board
(CPCB) has closed down four enterprises while issuing a
closure notice to one for discharging effluents directly into
The central pollution watchdog took the action in the
last three weeks following its ongoing intensive monitoring of
pollution in the 500-km stretch of the Ganga between Kannauj
and Varanasi, wherein it inspected a total of 26 industrial
"Of these, seven were found to be closed during
inspection, two were found to be complying with discharge
standards, nine required minor improvements while four issued
directions for closure," a senior environment official said.
Three units have been asked to take remedial action
while one has been issued a show-cause notice for closure, he
"This is the for the first time that the CPCB has
invoked Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
which empowers it to issue such directions.
"So far, the central pollution watchdog has depended
exclusively on issuing directives to State Pollution Control
Boards under Section 18 of the Water Act, 1974," he added.
The initiative came following Environment Minister
Jairam Ramesh`s observation that the SPCB, most of the times
due to political compulsion, were finding difficult to take
stringent measure against the erring industrial units.
Ramesh had also visited Kanpur in August to take stock
of the condition of Ganga which has been declared as a
In continuing with its aim to ensure a clean Ganga,
the CPCB will take up the inspection of around 402 tanneries
in Kanpur that are connected to common effluent treatment
plant in the 500-km stretch of Kannauj to Varanasi.
Besides, around 600-700 industrial enterprises are
also discharging effluents into the drains and tributaries
which flow into the Ganga.
The CPCB is also constituting a dedicated division for
monitoring and controlling pollution in the Ganga as part of
plans and programmes of the National Ganga River Basin
Authority (NGRBA) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"The central pollution control body has also asked the
distillery units to install zero-liquid discharge facilities
such as reverse osmosis, multi-effected evaporators and
boilers to ensure that there is no liquid discharge into the
river from these units," the official added.