The Uttarakhand pollution control board has started cracking the whip on industries flouting pollution norms in Haridwar district, an official said on Monday.
Notices have been served on more than a dozen industries that were found to be polluting the Ganga River in Roorkee, said Vinod Singhal, member secretary of Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB).
“Closure notices have been issued on five units, which did not have the mandatory no-objection certificates from the board while 10 other units were directed to summit a pollution compliance report within a month,” he said.
“We undertook survey of the industries in July and August this year and found many were freely releasing untreated effluents into the drains that ultimate flows into the (Ganga) river. The board has now recommend Uttarakhand Power Corporation to cut down the power supply of these industries.”
Although Singhal said the inspections were part of routine exercise, sources in the board said the action comes in the wake of a Supreme Court rap on the National Green Tribunal, the Centre and state pollution control boards for their failure to pull up polluting industries on the bank of the Ganga.
The top court in its order on October 29, 2014, had observed that “total lack of efforts on the part of the statutory bodies (pollution control boards) has also contributed to the state of affairs (the pollution of the Ganga)”.
In July this year, the green tribunal directed the board to re-visit ‘severely polluting industries’ and prepare a report.
Earlier in March, the UEPPCB in one of its report had revealed that out of the 22 ashrams surveyed along the twin towns of Rishikesh and Haridwar, only five were found to be treating sewage and rest were discharging untreated sewage into the river.
According to Uttarakhand Ganga River Conservation Authority, 132 towns have been identified along the Ganga in state, which were found to be flouting pollution norms by discharging untreated sewage and municipal wastage into the river.
The Ganga originates from Gaumukh in Uttarakhand and travels 2525km before it meets the Bay of Bengal.