Green tribunal relief to Noida company closed by pollution board

Order to resume operations follows joint inspection that found Modern Door Devices was adhering to norms

By Soundaram Ramanathan
Published: Saturday 07 September 2013

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday stayed a closure order of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) against Modern Door Devices, a small- scale company manufacturing hinges in Noida, and allowed it to continue operations.

The company’s effluent treatment plant was found violating the environmental standards. The firm was served a closure notice under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986. Consequently, electricity and water supply to the industry were snapped.
The affected company approached NGT against the notice. The NGT Delhi bench which took up the case for hearing reinstated the supply of electricity and water to the industry on August 26 and issued order for a joint inspection committee to probe the irregularities committed by the company. The joint inspection committee comprising members of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and UPCCB visited the industry and found it complying with environmental standards.

The report mentioned that the hazardous sludge from the industry is stored for three to four months in a fully roofed, concrete-floored sludge room and is safely been taken out for treatment to M/s UP Waste Management Project, in Kanpur’s Dehat by licensed lorries as prescribed. A certificate was also produced in the court showing the company to be a permanent member of M/s UP Waste Management Project, Kanpur, Dehat.

“The judges have mentioned very categorically in the hearing that small-scale industries should not suffer on meeting standards,” said engineer N K Gupta of CPCB. “We went on site inspection. The Company is now operating according to norms. We have verified the operations of the industry.  There is no issue,” added Gupta.

The committee submitted its report to the NGT bench, which permitted the company to operate based on the report. The judges asked UPPCB to reconsider the facts and issue a fresh consent to operate to the industry within four weeks. The company was also asked to adopt interlocking of scrubbers in the unit (See ‘Interlocking of pollution control equipment’)

“There were some minor issues with our ETP.  Previously, we were using different kind of raw materials and the ETP could treat the waste.  We worked on it, spent a lot of money and we have replaced the old ETP unit with a new one. Hereafter, there won’t be any trouble. We strongly believe in eco-friendly development. And we are happy with the NGT judgment,” said a company official who does not want to be named.

A UPCCB official said that the company had made some efforts to reduce pollution and that the NGT order only works to strengthen green regulations.

Interlocking of pollution control equipment
Pollution control equipment can be inter-connected with the feed systems through software to ensure continuous operation of the pollution devices till the raw materials are fed into the manufacturing process and such a system is called interlocked pollution control systems.

For example, an electro static precipitator (ESP) unit in a sponge iron industry and feed system to the kiln in the industry‘s power supply can be interlinked. If the ESP is not in operation, then feed to the kiln would stop automatically. The entire system is linked with the help of software and can be monitored from distant locations.

Such systems were proposed earlier by West Bengal Pollution Control Board to sponge iron plants, after it was found the companies switching off their ESPs often to save on power bills. However, as days passed, the system was not found very efficient because if one of the pollution control equipment malfunctions, the entire industrial unit would have to stop and restart operations.

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