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Pollution control board asked to come clean

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As reported by ENS in newindpress.com in 16 July 2008:

Pollution control board asked to come clean - Newindpress.com

Pollution control board asked to come clean


SALEM: Agitated by the lack of transparency in the functioning of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), 100 people, mostly farmers, on Tuesday sought clarifications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the District Environmental Engineer�s office. �TNPCB has consistently treated citizens as trouble-makers and enemies, and has gone out of its way to support polluters,� they alleged.


Highlighting the case of an illegal coal yard, currently being constructed by Chemplast Sanmar Ltd at the Mettur Railway Station yard, representatives of Gonur West Agriculturalists Development Union said the TNPCB has admitted that coal yards have not even applied for the required consent under Air and Water Acts. However, nothing has been done to stop the construction of the coal yard despite repeated complaints about the illegality.


Mettur residents said they have sufficient information to file a Vigilance complaint against Chennai-based TNPCB officials, in a case concerning a new thermal power plant being constructed by Chemplast in Mettur.


The people sought information on details of clearances given to each of the operations of the industries in Mettur, their operational details, history of compliance/violation of TNPCB norms, environmental laws etc. They also questioned the TNPCB how Malco (a aluminium smelting company in Mettur) was allowed to expand its production capacity and set up a new thermal power plant despite G O Ms 213 of 1989 and G O Ms 127 of 1998 that prohibits the setting up or expansion of polluting industries within 5 km of important rivers like Cauveri. Similarly, residents of Kitchipalayam (also known as Kuppamedu) - the site of Salem Municipality�s garbage dump - filed applications seeking copies of the consent to establish and operate a dump yard by the Corporation.


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