| AAMSU activists at the rally on Monday. Picture by UB Photos
Dhubri, Aug. 22: The All Assam Minorities Students Union (AAMSU) took out a bike rally in Bongaigaon today to protest against carbon factories polluting the environment in the district.
The students union demanded immediate closure of the units.
It alleged that the Brahmaputra Carbon Ltd of New Bongaigaon and the Prime Coke Industries Ltd of Jogighopa were causing pollution in the district and affecting the environment.
The Pollution Control Board, Assam, had, on July 16, directed Brahmaputra Carbon Ltd, a calcined petroleum coke manufacturing unit, to stop its operation immediately, as it was polluting the surrounding environment but it did not take any such step, the students union alleged.
The unit failed to install the pollution control devices required to control emission within the stipulated time, violating the provisions of the existing acts. It has been in operation without obtaining prior consent to operate under the Pollution Control Act, the president of the district unit of AAMSU, Saiful Islam Talukdar, said.
He said the Pollution Control Board, Assam, had also asked the Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) to discontinue power supply to the unit but it did not adhere to the order.
He said the Central Pollution Control Board had earlier observed that the Brahmaputra Carbon Ltd was violating the provisions of the Environment Protection Act and Rules Act and was running without the consent of the Assam Pollution Control Board.
The students union said in 2010, the Assam Pollution Control Board had showcaused the unit but it failed to comply with the laws despite being given sufficient time. It neither halted its operations nor did the ASEB discontinue power supply to it. Later, the board withdrew its order.
The students body submitted a memorandum to chief minister Tarun Gogoi through the Bongaigaon deputy commissioner, urging him to take immediate steps to stop the operation of units.
If immediate steps are not taken to close the units, we will be left no choice other than launch a mass movement and will not stop till they are shut, Talukdar said.