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HC Says Rogue Units Will Face Closure

30 August 2012

Times of India

Pollution board told to monitor air quality at SIPCOT complex

Chennai: The Madras high court has directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to do continuous air monitoring at the SIPCOT complex in Cuddalore. The court warned that rogue units would face closure. "We direct the TNPCB to do continuous air monitoring, and if any violation is found, take necessary legal action against the errant unit/units as per law," warned a division bench comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice M Venugopal on Wednesday.

The Cuddalore industrial cluster is one among the 43 critically polluted industrial areas identified by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Recently, the CPCB along with the Union ministry of environment and forest conducted a study of 88 industrial clusters in the country, and found that those in Coimbatore, Cuddalore, Erode, Manali, Tirupur and Vellore in Tamil Nadu were guilty of causing critical pollution.

On Wednesday, passing further orders onPILs pending since 2004, the bench also refused to lift the ban on the Cuddalore SIPCOT Industries Common Utilities Limited (CUSECS), which is in existence since 2001, without the mandatory consent to operate from the TNPCB. The common effluent facility, has instead, been surviving only on the no-objection certificate obtained from the authorities.

On Wednesday, Justice Elipe Dharma Rao, writing the judgment for the bench, refused to lift the ban on the operation of the CUSECS saying: "When the very inception of CUSECS is not in accordance with law, having no legal sanctity and further the possibility of leakage through its pipeline cannot be ruled out,we do not see any reason to lift the ban imposed by us on the functioning of the CUSECS."

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