Units not having effluent plants to be closed

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New Delhi, Mar 30 (UNI) A Parliamentary panel has asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests to serve closure notices to the industrial units discharging their effluents into the rivers if they don't install treatment plants within a time frame.

The Ministry should look seriously into such matters and impose heavy penalties and serve closure notices, if they continue to pollute, said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Forests in its 184th report tabled in the Rajya Sabha.

The discharge of effluents in the other water bodies was leading to an alarming contamination of water threatening animal life and vegetation.

The Committee felt that apart from providing financial assistance to state governments for Common Effluent Treatment Plants(CETPs) for modernisation and capacity expansion, the Ministry through its nodal agency the central Pollution Control Board should make sure that requisite technical assitance should also be given to them.

The panel was told that 314 polluting industrial units had been closed since 2006 for not installing effluent treatment devices and 115 were facing legal action. A total of 1204 grossly polluting industries had been identified in 2006 and out of that only 775 units had installed ETPs.

Under a scheme formulated for financial assitance for ETPs, states and the Centre would each give 25 per cent subsidy while the entrepreneur's contribution would come to 20 per cent and the loan from financial institution would be 30 per cent of the cost.

The main objective of the CETPs is to reduce the treatment cost to be borne by an individual member unit to a minimum by treating the effluent emanating from a cluster of compatible small-scale industries.

However, it has been found that most of the time the effluent treatment plants do not function properly and state government do not pay attention to make them functional once they develop some problems after installation.

Lack of proper maintenance and technological knowhow has been found to be the most common reason of the ETPs becoming non-functional after their installation, so the committee felt that technical assistance should also be given to states in addition to financial assistance.


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