Thirty-four medium and small-scale units in Edayar industrial region here continue to function without the mandatory consent to operate given by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (PCB).
The board has not yet initiated further action against the violation as per environmental laws despite issuing closure intention notice to the erring units in May. As per an assessment by the board in April, as many as 54 small and medium-scale units were functioning without the mandatory consent-to-operate certificate.
Nineteen units submitted the application for consent to operate after the Environment Surveillance Centre of the PCB in Eloor served show-cause notices on the erring units as a preliminary step, asking the managements as to why action should not be taken against them as per environmental laws. Eleven units were functioning even after the expiry of the validity of consent. The managements had not submitted the renewal application. Some units were functioning without applying for the consent to operate for more than 10 years.
The database on the industrial units in Edayar was updated in February-March after the National Green Tribunal pulled up the government and the departments concerned for failure to act against the pollution of the Periyar. The board had earlier admitted that the units functioning without adhering to the mandatory rules would escape the eyes of the law, if found responsible for pollution or other environmental violations.
A few managements claimed that they had taken over the units from another person/group, which had taken consent to operate from the board. However, the rules say that the changes have to be furnished before the board, and that application has to be forwarded for the consent variation order.
On the delay in initiating further proceedings on the closure notice issued to 34 units, the board is likely to seek a response from its headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram.