Instead of taking steps to decrease pollution in Ludhiana, city-based industrialists have come out against the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) for action against them for “minor violations”. The industry has also passed the buck on to the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) for dumping garbage and polluting the environment.
Surinder Singh Ryait, president of the Federation of Auto Parts Manufacturers (FAPMA), had asked PPCB chief environmental engineer Gulshan Rai that industries should not be harassed over minor violations, rather the Board should guide the units to install devices, so as to control pollution.
“The board should not force the closure of industrial unit as this creates a lot of problem for industrialists, which incur heavy losses due to non-production. The Board should be industry friendly,” Ryait said.
Controversial remarks by industry leaders were made during the general body meeting of FAPMA on March 6 in which industrialists from different trades were present. Rai was the chief guest on the occasion.
Ranjodh Singh, vice-president of the federation, said there were many other sectors which created a lot of pollution and only industry should not be targeted.
Interestingly, industrial units across Ludhiana have been accused of polluting the environment by releasing untreated effluents openly. In the past, many industries including some major units have been found flouting the environmental norms after which strict action was sought against such units.
Knitwear Club chairman Vinod Thapar, Dasmesh Nagar Industry Association president Manmohan Ubhi and Focal Point Association president Ram Lubhaya also expressed similar concerns and blamed the MC for being responsible for pollution caused in Ludhiana. They said there were other segments as well who were responsible for causing pollution, particularly the garbage dumped by MC on various roads.
Rai said PPCB was not targeting industry only and all segments that caused pollution were dealt with strictly as per the provisions of the law of the Board.
He said enough time was provided to the pollution-causing units to install required devices. “The units constantly defying the PPCB's orders have been directed to shut down the units.” he said.
Rai asked the units to comply with the rules of the Board and assured that no harassment would be done. He said it was the duty of the Board to provide clean atmosphere to the city and sought the cooperation of the industry. email@example.com