Forum for Better Visakha has sought intervention of the State Government for action by AP Pollution Control Board to control industrial pollution in Visakhapatnam.

Reacting to APPCB directive to HPCL to check pollution by Visakh Refinery after a gas leakage in November, FBV convener E.A.S. Sarma said on Monday that the chemical smell is back in Vizag, giving one the impression that APPCB discharges its functions only under duress, when the citizens raise their voice, and stops functioning when the citizens get tired of shouting.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary, Mr. Sarma, a former Union Power Secretary, said recently, there was an instance of thousands of dead fish floating on the waters near the ship building yard here.

It was strange that APPCB failed to act till the citizens demanded action.

Even after that, APPCB was yet to come up with any finding on the reasons for the incident. Evidently, the inaction of APPCB and the State Government was causing slow poisoning of the people of Vizag, an offence that was punishable under the law of the land, he said.

Pharma City pollution

On APPCB's Dave Committee on pollution caused by Pharma City, he said it was yet to see the light of the day even though the committee submitted its findings more than two years ago.

There was an all pervading contamination of the city's environment with the pollutants generated by the unregulated industrial units in and around the city.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has included the city's industrial cluster among the most “critically polluting” clusters of the country. This is certainly not complimentary to the way APPCB has functioned all along, he pointed out.

Opposing the setting up of second-hand oil refinery from the United States near the city in PCPIR, he said APPCB was a regulator whose regulatory authority and competence stand compromised due to its subservience to its political masters.

Appointment of its senior functionaries had become a subject of political patronage he alleged and demanded revamping of APPCB to make it an effective and strong regulator.