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Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004

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English Indian Clays told to fix pollution problem

Our Bureau

Thiruvananthapuram , Feb 2

ENGLISH Indian Clays, the white clay manufactures based in Veli near here, has been directed to "take care" of the atmospheric pollution resulting from a snag in the plant.

The site was visited by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board Chairman, Mr Paul Thachil, on complaints from local residents about "increased levels" of precipitation of dust let out by two faulty stacks in the manufacturing lines.

According to Mr Thachil, the pollution control mechanism available at the plant was not working satisfactorily and the public complaints were "well-founded".

The English Indian Clays management has been asked to submit a proposal for a corrective mechanism "in a week's time" to the complete settlement of the problem, he said. It has also been directed to consider the setting up of electrostatic precipitators for trapping dust particles.

According to KSPCB officials, the high level of dust pollution was only to be expected of a plant that consumes a vast amount of clay powder as raw material.

Earlier this month, the local residents had moved the Government and the KSPCB, threatening direct action if the pollution problem was not dealt with expeditiously. Many of them were reportedly suffering from respiratory diseases and allergic reactions.

During his visit to the site, the KSPCB Chairman held discussions with representatives of the factory management and local residents. According to him, the latest situation could be traced to the snags developed during December last, leading to belching of huge amount of clay powder that remain suspended in the atmosphere.

All it needs is a few good showers to "wash down" the cloud of suspended particles, according to KSPCB officials.

More Stories on : Environment | Kerala

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