Staff Correspondent

Iron plant has to comply with KSPCB norms: Paryavarni

Court passed order in publi interest litigation petition

The petition was disposed of on August 31

Belgaum: Paryavarni, a Belgaum-based voluntary organisation, has alleged that the Kundil group’s sponge iron plant in Londa has committed an offence of contempt of court by commencing operations without complying with the norms of the Karnataka State Environment Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) as insisted upon by the Karnataka High Court.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Paryavarni secretary and retired Colonel of Indian Army, Ravindra Saini said that, in response to a public interest litigation petition by the villagers of Londa in Khanapur taluk, the High Court had issued an order of interim injunction on July 22.

As per this order, the operations at the iron plant were closed after about eight days.

However, the court, which disposed of the petition on August 31, had stated that the respondent company shall commence operations only after complying with the norms of the KSPCB.

However, the promoters of the plant started operations within hours of the court disposing of the case without complying with the KSPCB norms and redressing the grievance of the petitioners. This, he said, amounted to contempt of court.

According to Mr. Saini, when he contacted the Environment Officer here, the official expressed ignorance about the court order and said he had not carried out any inspection at the plant.

As per rules, operations should have commenced only after an inspection followed by a report by the local office of KSPCB.

Khanapur Tahsildar D.B. Gangareddy told The Hindu that the operations at the plant commenced on August 31.

Mr. Gangareddy said that his office was informed only about the disposal of the petition and not the conditions therein.