Our Bureau

Thiruvananthapuram, May 13

A MAJORITY of industrial units in Kerala have complied with the directions of the State Pollution Control Board (PCB) regarding handling of hazardous wastes.

At the instance of the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on Hazardous Wastes, the board had issued closure notice to 198 industrial units in the State six months ago for flouting the norms in respect of handling of hazardous wastes. Of them, 108 units have fully complied with the norms.

The Chairman of the monitoring committee, Dr G. Thyagarajan, told newspersons here on Friday that Kerala was responding well to the directions of the Supreme Court.

Dr Thyagarajan, who discussed the issue of pollution caused by the industrial units in the State with the Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, earlier, said that the latter had sought some more time to tackle the problem in some of the units like Travancore Titanium Products Ltd. (TTP).

The Chairman of OCB, Mr G. Rajmohan, who was also present, said that 12 of the units that are yet to comply with the board's directions would have their own waste disposal facilities by June.

He said that 37 units in Udyogamandal in Ernakulam district have joined hands to set up a common treatment-storage-disposal facility, which will be in place soon. Of the remaining units, 17 have stopped operations and eight are under closure orders.

However, no big industrial unit is in the list of companies either closed down or are under closure orders, he added.

In the case of TTP, Dr Thyagarajan said that the monitoring committee has given the State Government a "clear formula" indicating the time-frame within which certain concrete measures were to be taken.

In October 2003, the Supreme Court had issued a set of directions to tackle the problem of pollution from hazardous wastes generated by industries in the country. The court had also given one year's time to the industries to comply with the directions.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 14, 2005)
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