Almost 250 industries in various parts of Madhya Pradesh continue to pose grave danger to the environment year after year by releasing polluting elements into air and water well over prescribed norms, reveal monitoring reports by the MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB).
Many of the industries feature on the list of violators for last six to seven years, despite the PCB serving notices to them. Also, despite the pollution watchdog introducing compulsory continuous online monitoring system to check air pollution particularly in the power and cement industries, the number of air polluting units has gone considerably up in 2012-13, as compared to 2011-12.
Considering this situation, environment protection organisation Prayatna has decided to file public interest litigation with the Bhopal bench of the National Green Tribunal, demanding that third party independent audit should be carried out on polluting industries.
Monitoring reports for the year 2012-13, obtained through RTI from the MPPCB, show that 247 industries are flouting environmental norms in the state. In all, 161 industries flouted norms of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 while 86 industries flouted the norms of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
The Water Act, 1974 and the Air Act, 1981 prescribe the safe limits for polluting elements in water and air respectively. Any discharge beyond these limits cause serious pollution of water and year.
When compared to last year (2011-12), the number of industries flouting water pollution norms has gone down from 201 to 161, but the number of air polluting industries has gone considerably up -- from 55 to 86. This, however, does not cover Indore region.
Secretary of Prayatna Ajay Dubey, who obtained the documents through RTI, said MPPCB's monitoring reports for the last six years would be placed before the Green Tribunal to show how the polluting industries have continued to thrive in state despite them being labelled as violators for so many years.
"We have a feeling that since the board itself gives permission to these industries to function, they might not be totally unbiased as far as monitoring is concerned. Thus we insist upon independent environment audit of the industries," he said.
Continuing pollution of air and water could have very serious implications, not only on human health, but also on flora and fauna. It becomes especially worrying when the sources of pollution (the violating industries) are on banks of major rivers like Narmada that provide drinking water to a large chunk of the state's population.
Chairman of the MPPCB, NP Shukla, said that because of very stringent measures taken by the board over last year, the number of polluting industries has gone down significantly compared to the scenario two years ago. "We have also asked them to set up public display for the emission levels to ensure transparency," the chairman said.