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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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CIMA Gallary

Green glare on crusher units

The Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) has decided to act tough on rogue stone crushers in the Coal Belt region.

At least 30 units of Dhanbad and Bokaro are facing cases for violating green guidelines and the JSPCB regional office has already sent fact sheets to its headquarters in Ranchi for legal verification.

JSPCB regional officer (Dhanbad) Dinesh Prasad Singh said while fact sheets for 20 Bokaro units were sent to the headquarters last week, those for 10 in Dhanbad were sent on Tuesday. He pointed out that all the 30 units were either operating without NOCs or without consents to operate (COPs) from the pollution control board or without both.

While an NOC is required to set up hazardous industries, a COP gives the go-ahead to run such industries. In case of stone crushing units, the validity of a COP is three years after which it needs to be renewed.

“A majority of the units are operating without consent, while the NOCs of some have been withdrawn because they were found to be established in contravention of the Environmental Protection Act during inspections,” Singh said.

He added that NOCs for stone crushers had become mandatory from 1990 and, hence, some concession had been allowed to units established before that year.

According to environment guidelines, a stone crusher must maintain safe distance from roads and forestland to earn an NOC. “We are going to court because the guidelines are being blatantly violated and the units have failed to act despite three notices served over the past year,” Singh said.

Currently, around 150 stone crushers operate in different areas of Dhanbad like Baliapur, Govindpur, Rajganj, Gomoh, Nirsa and Topchanchi. The largest concentration of 70 units is in Baliapur.

Similarly, around 90 units run across Bokaro and the largest concentration of 15 is in Khutri area of Jaina More. Some dozen units are also operational in Telo Taranga area of Mahuban.