The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken a serious view of industries that have been causing contamination of ground water for years in the district. Consequently, it has imposed heavy penalties on Frigerio Conserva Allana Limited, Algol Road, Zaheerabad, which has been operating a slaughter house, Sree Siddhi Vinayaka Oil Mill, Zaheeerabad, operating a refinery and a solvent extraction plant, and Piramal Enterprises Limited’s pharma unit in Digwal, in Kohir mandal.
“M/s. Piramal Enterprises Limited’s pharmaceutical unit manufactures 62 products. The industry was inspected on three different occasions by the teams constituted as per the directives of the NGT. During the inspection of Rolling Task Force team, it was observed that in the cooling tower, water was contaminated, and all the rain water collection pits were not lined up.
The Joint Committee deliberated the unit’s violations. It has recommended to impose the maximum environmental compensation (EC) of ₹ 60,000 per day, as per the guide lines of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) amounting to ₹ 8,31,60,000 for 1,386 days. The Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) has also forfeited an amount of ₹ 99 lakh bank guarantee,” read the order issued by the NGT on November 13, 2019.
Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson, Justice S.P. Wangdi and Justice K Ramakrishnan (both judicial members) and Dr. Nagin Nanda and Saibal Dasgupta (both expert members) were present.
Sree Siddhi Vinayaka Agro Extractions Private Limited was imposed an EC of ₹ 14,20,000, and its ₹ 8 lakh bank guarantee forfeited for similar violations. The company was directed to shift its plant from the present location to Buchinelli Industrial Area by December 2020.
For Frigerio Conserva Allana Limited, an EC of ₹ 30,000 per day amounting to ₹ 1,74,90,000 for 583 days was imposed and its bank guarantee of ₹ 20 lakh was forfeited by the TSPCB.
“About 1.5 kilometres to the South side of the Piramal unit, and a stretch of 500 metres each on East and West side were polluted. The extent of acreage and number of farmers would be identified by the revenue department officials,” said a PCB official.
A solo fight
K. Lakshma Reddy, a resident of Zaheerabad and chairman of Vivekananda Institute of Knowledge and Services (VIKAS), an NGO, has been fighting against pollution in the area for the past two years.“I am fighting to get justice to those who suffered due to pollution and to stop further pollution of the area,” Mr. Reddy told The Hindu .