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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Finding everything fine, PPCB lifts 15-day ban on leather industry

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, December 24, 2013
First Published: 23:44 IST(24/12/2013) | Last Updated: 23:45 IST(24/12/2013)

The 15-day ban on the leather industry here was revoked by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) on Tuesday after a spot inspection by a team of the board.

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While allowing to run the 5mld common effluent treatment plant (CETP), the PPCB curtailed its capacity and ordered the PETS to run it at 3mld capacity only.

However, after the intervention of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was in the region on Tuesday, the permission was granted to run it at full 5mld capacity.

Before lifting the closure, PPCB member secretary Babu Ram and senior environmental engineer SP Garg made two rounds of inspection of the CETP and drains.

The functioning of the CETP will start from tomorrow, five days in advance.

Sources at the PPCB revealed that in the report, the PPCB officials have mentioned that drains have been cleaned, repair work of some drains was going on and the CETP was also cleaned as per the permissible level.

Confirming the lifting of the closure, Ajay Sharma, director-cum-secretary, PETS, said that PPCB, after inspection, allowed the running of the CETP up to 3mld only but then we met Punjab CM at Kartarpur and explained that it was not possible to run it at 3mld as either it has to run in full capacity or not at all.

The CM then asked the PPCB chairman and got the matter resolved. So, now the plant was ready and can be run at the 5mld capacity, said Sharma.

It may be noted that in the past over a week more than 60 tonnes wet sludge has been dug out of the drains and the CETP and transported to the Nimbua (near Dera Bassi) treatment plant. A large quantity of sludge is still lying on the roads for drying.

Garg said that the PETS has taken almost all the required corrective steps and the report has been sent to Patiala.

The leather industry, on the other hand, claimed to have suffered a loss of over Rs. 100 crore during the 10 days following the shutdown.

There are 54 units in the complex and the units had been contributing Rs. 30-35 lakh for the maintenance of the 5mld treatment plant on monthly basis. The CETP is being maintained by Ramky Infrastructure Limited.

The PPCB had enforced the closure of tanning units till December 29 following the detection of the discharge of highly toxic effluents with sulphide contents of 5,000mg in the Kala Sanghia drain during a surprise checking by Garg and environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal.

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