The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued directions to 20 industries along the main stem of Ganga river after inspections found that they had violated pollution norms. The pollution watchdog has issued show-cause notices to these industries, and some have been asked to discontinue their operations until they comply with pollution norms.

The CPCB’s directions and notices come in the wake of repeated reminders it had sent to errant industries, who had not installed online monitoring devices and were discharging effluents above permissible limits. In February, the CPCB had sent notices to grossly polluting industries belonging to chemicals, dairy, food and beverage, pulp and paper, sugar, tannery, textiles, bleaching and cement sectors.

Industries in the sugar, distilleries, paper and chemical sector have been issued notices while officials said that more notices will follow to industries in other sectors such as tanneries, textiles and bleaching. The industries have been issued notices under section 5 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

In one instance, Tata Chemicals Limited, Medinipur, has been served notice and CPCB has asked them to immediately close all plant operations with immediate effect.

As per CPCB’s inspection in January, effluent samples showed that biologically dissolved oxygen and fluoride were both above the permissible limit. “Fluoride, 17.89 mg/l is against the prescribed limits of 1.5mg/l, which is six times higher than the norm,” the CPCB notice said.

On the basis of the non-compliance of pollution norms, the CPCB has ordered them to shut down the plant with immediate effect and take adequate measures to meet standards. Fluoride contamination can result in dental fluorosis and have an adverse impact on tissue too.

Among distilleries, the CPCB has issued directions to nine in Uttar Pradesh and one each in Bihar and Haryana. Following inspection, CPCB found out that in UP, the industrial units were not following norms on zero liquid discharge. Thus, they directed nine units to, “discontinue all manufacturing operations” and they will not be permitted to restart operations until they comply with the action plan to achieve zero liquid discharge.

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