WHEN the Gujarat High Court ((-,Hc)
orders for closing down 756 units in and
around Ahmedabad on August 5, and
26 major industries in Nandesari estate
in Barcida on September 5 (Down To
Earth, Vol 4, No 9) were not followed,
contempt petition against government
officials was admitted. However, the
role of the state, including the Gujarat
Industrial Development Corporation
(GH)c) and the Central Pollution
Control Board (CPCB), was highly suspect right from the beginning according
to the pro-closure lobby.
Among the categories brought to
book were those industries
producing/using hazardous chemicals
or having carborusing units.
In Rajkot, the infamous saree printing and dyeing units of Jetpur were
asked by the GHc on July 31 to comply
with pollution norms by August 21, or
face closure. In 15 days, 10,000 in of
pucca channels were constructed and 45
ghats (for washing sarees) were demolished- But by August 21, when the CeDtral ghat and central effluent treatment
plant were not fulfilled as per co
orders, the Rajkot collector clc
1,247 saree printing units on August 22.
On September 6, 15 days after
units were ordered to close, the co
relented that Jetpur dying and prini
units may be restarted in a manner
no washing is done on the river hall
and an effluent treatment plant
promised by the industries is installed.
Earlier on August 8, the Court
asked the government to submit a tir
frame by August 31, for cleaning
small rivers. The court observed
only if small rivers like Mini river
poflution-free, bigger rivers can
hoped to remain clean.
Emboldened by the Cou4
activism, a petition was filed by DyeLn
Bleaching, Finishing Units Wmk4
Union on the problems caused by urn
in Surat and surrounding areas. 1114
the petition came for hearing c
September 4, the Court ordered
showcause notices be issued to
industries of Surat, Udhana, Bheshl
Pandesra and Sachin for air, water ar
Ironically in this context, the
Bank seemed to have sniffed b
ness. Reportedly, "the Bank wou.
consider the government's Pl
posal for financing big enviro
ment protection projects
Nanuda, Odhav, Vatva
Jetpur" under the garb of stren
citing organisational capabilit
for effective implementation
pollution prevention methods.
In a trendsetting move,
August 21, the Gujarat g
ment had also ordered closure
Maruti Chemical Industries
Baroda district for releasu
untreated water affecting river
P R Ghanekhan, former m.
her secretary, CPCB, denounced
lamented that the CPCB does
have necessary resources to in,
for pollution - like measm
toxicity in effluents.