Mani Shankar (right) at Maithon power plant on Sunday. (Gautam Dey)
A high-level team from Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) inspected two major industrial units in Dhanbad on Sunday, finding gross violations in both.
Led by board chairman Mani Shankar, the four-member team comprising JSPCB engineers and scientists first reached Maithon Power Limited, a joint venture of Tata Power and DVC, in Nirsa.
Shankar was irked over the fact that despite asking the company on May 23 to pull up its socks and take measures to protect the environment, it was still contributing to pollution levels.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Shankar said when he had visited the power plant on May 3, he had noticed violation of pollution norms. Subsequently, a showcause notice was served to the unit on May 17, following which a hearing was held in Ranchi on May 23 in which four specific instructions were given to the company representatives.
“The instructions were initiate steps to check emission from coal handling plant, to make pucca all the roads inside the unit, construct an approach link to the ash pond and complete the latter,” Shankar said.
But the unit so far has only made the approach road.
On Sunday, the team found ash-mixed water coming out through gate No. 2 of the plant and flowing to Maithon Lake, polluting it. The JSPCB team collected samples and threatened to seize the Rs 25 lakh bank guarantee of the power unit, if it failed to mend its ways.
When asked, the company’s public relations officer Abhishek Mani Singh trotted out monsoon as an excuse for the delays.
In its second stop at Auroma Coke Limited, a private hard coke plant in Govindpur area of Dhanbad, the team found ash fines lying in the open, in utter violation of green norms.
The visiting team then issued specific instructions to Dinesh Prasad Singh, the regional pollution control officer of Dhanbad, for taking action against the company.
It maybe recalled that almost two weeks ago, Jharkhand High Court had pulled up the pollution control board for failing to take steps against industries harming the environment in and around coal hub Dhanba