Sealing of one of the screening plants in Panchkula. (Express photo)
THE POLLUTION control board of Panchkula, on Friday, sealed ten screening plants that were found violating at least three norms specified by the board. All the ten sealed plants lie in Manak Tabra village, Raipur Rani.
The plants, according to Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) officials, were sealed as all of them lacked a metallic or concrete pathway which is essential for traffic movement inside the area, including the movement of vehicles that load and unload raw material. Further, the discharged water was not being treated before letting it out of the plant as is the mandate. Finally, the outer boundaries of the plant need to have at least two lines of trees which no plant had.
The plants sealed include, Bajrang screening plant, Samlashan screening plant, Shree bala ji screening plant, National Stone screening plant, Maa Durga screening plant, Shree Ganesh screening plant, Shiv Shakti washing plant, Saraswati screening plant, Suraj screening plant and and Krishna screening plant.
While the inspection of these plants was carried out on December 24, a showcause notice was handed to them in the following week regarding the violation of norms. The reply for the same was received on January 11 which was satisfactory and claimed that all changes to follow the norms had been made. In a raid by the pollution control board this week, to verify the claims, it was found that only partial compliance of the norms had been undertaken wherein only two-four plants had been planted, a patch of concrete had been built and the recirculation tanks that recycle water had not been restored, informed Virender Punia, Regional officer of the Pollution Control Board. He further said, “The tanks which require working motors and connected water pipes too were missing. We thus applied for the orders to seal the plants which were approved on Thursday and made the seal today.”
Though the police was kept on stand-by for any situation, the process moved swiftly as six officials of the Board made seals throughout the day.
Just last month, on December 20, as many as eight screening plants in the same region had been sealed by the authourities, which were found violating the same norms. “After we had sealed those plants for discharging effluent into nearby rivers, all the others, fearing the same fate, shut down their plants so we would not be able to collect water samples but we found other violations including this one as we had collected a few samples beforehand itself”, said Punia.
On the raid that took place last month, the water was found to be flowing into the rivers through ‘kuccha’ channels made from the plants to the rivers. The samples of water collected were found exceeding prescribed limit of pollutants being released in the nearby water bodies.
As many as 30 screening plants lie in the Raipur Rani area of Panchkula out of which, eight had been sealed last month, and ten were sealed on Friday. The remaining 12 too have been served notices and will be sealed if they are found violating the orders said Punia.
Meanwhile, the eight screening plants that had been sealed when submitted compliance last week, were raided again to check their claims and were again found to be violating the norms as they had made only partial changes. They have thus not been given the permission to open. “The screening plants will re-open only after they comply with all orders fully”, said Punia.