It seems the state government's claim of making the city pollution-free is hollow. Residents of Nile Condominium in Sector 49, Sohna Road, have been at the receiving end of sound and environment pollution caused by a nearby malt factory. Nothing happened even after the residents approached the chief minister.
"We can't open our windows because of this malt factory. It is polluting the air as well, apart from creating noise," said SM Munjal, president, Nile Condominium Residents' Association. "The chief minister and pollution control board officials have not responded to our pleas," Munjal added.
He said residents can't even dry clothes on their balconies. "Some kind of black particles released by the factory stick to the clothes, making them stink. Sometimes, we find it hard to breathe," said Munjal.
There are 420 flats at Nile Condominium. Residents say they have been suffering since June 2008, the month they moved in. The factory belongs to Imperial Malts. “Asthma cases are rising,” said Munish Kashyap, a resident.
‘Factory can’t shift’
Imperial Malts director Sanjay Yadav said the factory has been operational for the last 29 years. "The residents came here in 2008 and while buying the flats, they didn't bother to take the presence of the factory into account. It is not possible for us to shift elsewhere. At least 200 people work at the plant, and it is impractical to uproot them and rob them of their livelihood," said Yadav.
The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) said the factory is not breaking the law. "After getting complaints from residents, we collected air and water samples and found that the factory was not within permissible limits. Then we told the plant's management to rectify this problem," said HSPCB regional director Pradeep Yadav.
"Since then we have been testing regular samples and the factory is not a source of pollution. They are updating their technology to reduce pollution in the best possible manner,” said Pradeep Yadav.