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| Last Updated:01/02/2019

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Comply or shut down: Pollution Board

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on 25/02/2017 issued stringent directions for industries along the Ganga basin that have not yet installed online pollution monitoring systems.

In a three-page directive, the CPCB has asked grossly polluting industries across 17 categories to install the systems at the earliest, failing which they will face closure. According to senior CPCB officials, errant industries will face action beginning March.

“The State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) shall direct all units — Orange, Red, Green category — to not continue its operations till the unit obtains valid consent to operate from state boards.

SPCB shall place names of all defaulter units on its website and issue notices under Water and Air Act to seek and comply with stipulated standards,” the CPCB notice said.

In recent times, the union environment ministry has pushed for reducing field inspections and moving towards a system of online monitoring of pollution along the Ganga. This has mandated industries to install continuous stack emission monitoring systems and online effluent quality monitoring system at waste water treatment plants.

However, implementation of this new pollution monitoring system has been delayed. The first set of directions to install these online devices was issued in 2014 and the ministry granted several extensions for industries to comply.

“It was observed that despite efforts made by the SPCB’s in their state for installation of online monitoring system, it had not yielded desired results,” the CPCB said.

“While many have replied to past directions and are in the process of installing monitoring devices, several are yet to respond,” said a senior CPCB official on the condition of anonymity.

As per the environment ministry’s latest data, notices have been sent to 3,933 industrial units to install online monitoring devices.


Of them, 1,782 industrial units have installed such systems, while another 509 are in the process of doing so. A total of 864 industries are sending 24/7 data to the CPCB.

According to official data, there are 764 grossly polluting industries on Ganga’s main stem, which generate 501 litters of waste water a day. These industries belong to the chemicals, dairy, food and beverage, pulp and paper, sugar, tannery, textiles, bleaching and cement sectors.