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Protest against sealing of metal melting units

Moradabad MP S.T. Hasan. Photo: loksabhaph.nic.in

Moradabad MP S.T. Hasan. Photo: loksabhaph.nic.in  

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Moradabad MP submits memo to Environment Minister, says action has hit small artisans

After hundreds of artisans in Moradabad working in the brass industry protested on Monday against the administration’s action against coal-fired hearths for causing pollution, Member of Parliament S.T. Hasan submitted a memorandum to Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar in Delhi on Tuesday.

In the memorandum, Dr. Hasan said the action has affected the livelihood of artisans. “Pollution is indeed a big problem, but it should not mean that in an effort to control it we make some people die of hunger,” he said.

He appealed to the Environment Ministry that the small units which were running from residential areas be spared for six months till the infrastructure for PNG-based furnaces was laid.

‘Provide alternative’

Noman Mansoori, president of the Handicraft Development Society, said artisans were being rendered jobless without being provided an alternative. “Moradabad has around 500 big and 2,000 small metal melting units. The major cause of pollution is smoke from the big units and illegal units where e-waste is dumped. The smaller units, run from home, are those where the artisan cook food and smelt the metal on the same hearth. It causes only as much pollution as a chulha does,” he argued. “But units are being sealed and a heavy penalty is being imposed on poor artisans,” he said, alleging in some cases the police try to extort money from artisans.

He said the society created a prototype of PNG-based furnace with the help of experts and offered it to Torrent Gas which is laying pipeline in the city for domestic use.

The company gave one commercial connection in Rahmat Nagar in Karula locality in October this year, Mr. Mansoori said. “However, the plan didn’t take off as the artisans are spread across the city. It is for the administration to use funds allocated for Smart City Mission to resettle the artisans in one area.” .

Ajay Sharma, Regional Manager, U.P. Pollution Control Board, said in the last two months 66 metal melting units, four illegal e-waste dumping units and one illegal foundry have been sealed. He said small units also cause pollution.

“It is just that the amount of particulate matter 2.5 released in the air by them is around one-third of what is released by big units. We take action against really small units only when we get a complaint from the neighbourhood. Often asthma patients complain,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 11:37:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/protest-against-sealing-of-metal-melting-units/article30090857.ece

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