Industries warned of prosecution if operating without letter of consent

Minister for Tourism, Environment and Ecology C.P. Yogeshwar distributing Letter of Consent to a few industrialists in Mysuru on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

Industries have been warned of legal action and prosecution if they operate without letter of consent from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board.

At a ‘consent mela’ held in the city on Wednesday Minister for Tourism, Environment and Ecology C.P. Yogeshwar said that out of nearly 6 lakh small-scale industries in the State, only 1 lakh had obtained the letter from the Pollution Control Board and the remaining were out of the “consent net’’.

He said the board had launched a drive to get the industries enrolled for the mela and get the letter of consent. So far over 2,500 units had been issued the letter across the State since the last few weeks.

Mr. Yogeshwar said he had instructed the officials to bring all the registered industrial units under the “consent net’’. This was mandated under the existing laws in times of global warming and the imperatives of fighting the scourge of pollution while the Pollution Control Board was also answerable to the National Green Tribunal which had issued notices to it.

The Minister assured the KASSIA members that the government would review the revision in fee for issuing letter of consent. “We are not here to extort money from the industries. The government has received objections from the entrepreneurs on the revision in the consent fee which is based on the quantum of investment. The government will take another look into it and hold discussions with stakeholders and officials.’’

He said entrepreneurs had questioned the logic behind linking consent fee to the quantum of investment made. The Minister said his attention was drawn to the fact that green technology which reduces pollution and increases efficiency entails higher investment. But linking consent fee to the quantum of investment made acted as a disincentive and discouraged entrepreneurs from opting for new and latest technology. There is merit in this argument and the government will review the same.

He also announced that till the consent fee was reviewed by the government the Pollution Control Board would be directed to levy the rate that existed before the revision came into effect.

Srinivasulu, Member Secretary, KSPCB, asked the entrepreneurs to make use of the consent mela and obtain the letters. He said the ongoing mela indicates that a majority of the industries were operating all these days without consent letters. The board is going out of its way to issue the letters and the industries should make the best use of it failing which they were liable for criminal prosecution.

Members of KASSIA, Mysuru unit, Mysuru Industries Association, Hebbal Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association and others were present.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:50:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/industries-warned-of-prosecution-if-operating-without-letter-of-consent/article33981582.ece

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