MPCB tells HPCL, Tata Power to cut production by 50%
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has issued showcause notices to Hindustan Petroleum and Tata Power for failing to comply with environmental laws. Two logistics firms have also been asked to reduce transport of hazardous chemicals by 50%. The board has also issued guidelines to Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited and closed down two ready mix concrete plants in Mumbai. The action follows the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's air pollution mitigation plan, which stated that punitive action would be taken against non-compliant companies.
Strap: Also issues guidelines to RCF, shuts down 2 RMC plants
Mumbai In its endeavour to curb air pollution the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) issued showcause notices to four companies last week for failing to comply with environmental laws. Prominent among them are Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) and Tata Power Co Ltd (TPCL), who have been asked to reduce production by 50%. Two other firms, which manage logistics for companies producing hazardous chemicals -- Aegis Logistics and Sealord Containers -- have been notified to curtail transport of its stocks by 50%.
On Wednesday, the board also issued strict guidelines to Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited (RCF) in Chembur and closed down two ready mix concrete (RMC) plants in the city.
The action comes on the back of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) SOPs for companies to follow 10 days ago. The civic body’s air pollution mitigation plan had stated that the board will monitor pollution emitted from industries such as BPCL, HPCL, RCF, Tata Power and others in nearby MIDCs daily for one month, and take punitive action against those failing to comply.
Apart from the notices, bank guarantees of Aegis Logistics and Sealord Containers of ₹10 lakh and ₹5 lakh respectively were also seized. MPCB joint director (air) V M Motghare confirmed the move.
The board has issued 20 points as observations and suggestions to RCF, “to control pollution in the city”. It has been asked to arrest acid fumes emanating from the scrubbing liquid circulation tank. The bag filter was found in a dilapidated condition and not in operation. Fugitive dust emission was observed from the rock phosphate powder storage gantry. Heavy dust had accumulated on its premises, indicating failure to observe cleanliness standards leading to fugitive dust emission. Heavy emissions were visible from the reactor fume scrubber and dust scrubber stack.
An MPCB official said RCF has not applied acid proof lining to the dyke wall, which prevents the flooding of liquid. MPCB also pointed out the effluent from its Sufala plant, which manufactures fertiliser, passing into the effluent treatment plant (ETP) through an open drain. Drain sludge was also not cleaned regularly.
Motghare said, “We are now in attack mode. We conducted a rapid survey of RMC plants in the city till Wednesday, following which we issued closure directions to two non-compliant RMC units. Further action will be initiated against units guilty of non-compliance.”
Meanwhile, MPCB has issued letters to the transport commissioner and joint commissioner of police to regularise freight transport in MMR.