Tamil Nadu

Sterling Biotech gets closure notice

Employees of Sterling Biotech at the Nilgiris Collector’s office on Friday after the pollution control board serve the closure notice on the company.   | Photo Credit: M . Sathyamoorthy

Sterling Biotech Limited, a pharmaceutical company, accused of flouting environmental norms and discharging untreated effluent into the Pykara Dam and nearby reservoirs, has been served with a closure notice by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).

According to officials, the TNPCB had found the company guilty of polluting nearby water bodies with direct discharge of sewage and also letting out effluent through the sewage pipes into the Pykara Dam. The TNPCB had instructed the company to set up a zero-discharge effluent treatment facility last year, and warned of closure notice if it failed to do so.

Nilgiris District Collector Innocent Divya told The Hindu that TNPCB served the notice on the manufacturing unit after it failed to meet the deadline to set up the treatment facility; it had also not responded to an ultimatum issued by the board.

Power supply to the factory has been cut off since Thursday, officials said.

As hazardous materials could still be stored inside, a team of officials, including the local tahsildar, members of the TNPCB and the Inspector of Factories, inspected the premises and make an inventory of the materials stored, said an official.

The factory would be sealed once all the hazardous materials were removed and safely disposed of, he said.

Sterling Biotech had long been accused of polluting the Pykara Dam, and conservationists had said that the effluents had a far-reaching impact on the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, including in the Sigur plateau, as water from the Pykara flowed into the Moyar River, a vital source of drinking water for animals and the people living in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve .

In October 2017, the district administration had fined the company ₹1 lakh for discharging effluents into the Pykara.


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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 2:35:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sterling-biotech-gets-closure-notice/article24295148.ece

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