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The Karnataka High Court recently awarded damages worth Rs 21,000 to a petitioner Muniswamy Gowda, who had accused a rice milling industry of damaging his health. The court ordered the state government, the chairperson of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the owner of the rice milling industry to pay Rs 7,000 each to Muniswamy for having violated pollution control laws. The sheller type rice milling industry located next to the petitioner's house was found to be causing enormous air pollution, thus posing a major health hazard to the nearby residents. The industry was earlier directed to shift out from the residential area, but in March 1997, the KSPCB exempted the mill from the purview of the Air Act, 1981, thus allowing it to continue its operations in the area.
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