Programme to check industrial pollution

G. Prabhakaran

‘Waste to profit’ is the concept behind the programme

Waste management concept developed by UNIDO

Kanjikode cluster adopts the programme

PALAKKAD: The steel industry in Kerala is facing tremendous adverse public opinion for creating environment pollution.

The State Pollution Control Board had recently issued notices to some of the steel units to stop production if they are unable to set up effluent treatment plants to reduce pollution. Majority of the steel units in the State are located in Kanjikode and other parts of Palakkad district. It is in this context that a cluster of steel units here are now engaged in a Waste Minimisation Programme. The programme has been initiated by the Industrial Operations Research Group (IORG), a consultancy firm here.

IORG chief executive N.G. Nair has said that this waste management concept is developed by UNIDO and accepted by all developed and developing countries. In India, the programme is implemented under the guidance of the National Productivity Council under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The Pollution Control Board insisted the industries to make huge investment in waste treatment plants to reduce the pollutants created by the production process. The waste minimisation programme, on the other hand, is focussing on changing the process, machines and raw materials so that the waste is prevented or minimised. By this, even the necessity of a costly effluent treatment plant itself can be eliminated, Dr. Nair says.

‘Waste to profit’ is the concept behind the programme. The waste is defined as a resource at a wrong place. Any resource is a wealth. Here the focus is to convert the waste into profit.

Waste minimisation is similar to quality circles in which workers themselves are the investigators to find out the causes of waste, identify the waste and methods to overcome it. The areas of study start from housekeeping, modification of production process, adjustments, replacement of existing machines with better ones and, in rare cases, changes in product mix.

In addition, the focus will be on the supporting services such as electric supply, the load factor, input fuel, insulators, firing system and the cooling system.

The IORG has so far implemented the programme in seven clusters in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and the annual saving is in the order of 15 per cent on the sales turnover. Currently, five steel companies are doing waste minimisation studies under its guidance. The programme will definitely contribute substantially to reduce pollution in steel industries. It will also reduce power consumption considerably by improving the power and load factors, Dr. Nair said.

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