The State Government is set to relax the moratorium on further industrialisation in the district, which was imposed after the Central Pollution Control Board found Mangalore to be the most polluted industrialised city in the State.
The moratorium, which was imposed on the entire Dakshina Kannada district, will now be applicable to only the Bykampady Industrial Area here. This was stated by Minister for Environment and Ecology J. Krishna Palemar on the sidelines of a seminar on “Environment and development projects of coastal districts” organised by the Nagarika Seva Trust on Sunday. He, however, said that the “blanket ban” on further industrialisation would remain in place at Bykampady.
Mr. Palemar emphasised that “extreme caution” would be exercised before giving clearances to industries in the rest of the district.
The Government had to suddenly change its stand on industrialisation because the CPCB had recently clarified that its pollution report was based on samples collected in the Bykampady area alone. “The CPCB report has found that the Bykampady Industrial Area is the most polluted area in the State not the entire city of Mangalore,” he said.
A team of experts from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board would conduct a study in the Bykampady area to identify specific industrial units that were responsible for the pollution. “Of the 700 industrial units in the area, only 560 are presently functional. The investigation will take time,” he said.
Mr. Palemar criticised the watchdog and expert agencies such as the Karnataka Biodiversity Board and the Western Ghats Task Force for not cautioning the authorities on current and impending ecological disasters. Questioning the commitment of certain members of these bodies he said there was an urgent need to upgrade the State's pollution monitoring system. “Forget conducting tests for Bt Brinjal, we do not even have enough competent laboratories to test water,” he said.