In Short

Published: Wednesday 31 March 2004

coke restrained: The bottling plant of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited (HCBPL) at Plachimada in Kerala has temporarily stopped drawing groundwater from the area. The company had to fall in line after the Kerala High Court (HC) refused to stay the state cabinet's February 17 order, directing the plant to stop extracting water till June 15. The company had refused to comply with the government order on the ground that the matter was sub-judice. Earlier, the HC had asked HCBPL to close down its borewells at the plant (see: 'Big boost', Down To Earth, January 15, 2004). HCBPL has been seeking the renewal of licence for its Plachimada plant, which was cancelled by the Perumatty panchayat in April 2003.

crz crackdown: The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority has initiated action against 12 coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) violators after it got more teeth through a December 2003 circular. Notices for disconnection of power and water supplies of these units have been issued in the past two months. While this initial action targets violations along the Calangute-Candolim and Colva-Benaulim belts, the authority is also contemplating action against offenders in other areas. Some of the 12 erring units have moved the Panjim bench of the Bombay High Court, seeking a stay on the notices.

taken to task: The Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (EPPCB) of Himachal Pradesh has issued notices to 38 illegal limestone mines in Sirmaur district under the Central Environment Protection Act, 1986, and Prevention of Water Pollution Act, 1974. These mines would be closed if they don't comply with the norms laid down by the EPPCB. The board has asked mine owners to submit rehabilitation plans for areas under mining operations. It has been alleged that unscientific disposal of wastes from these mines pollutes the area and disturbs its ecological balance.

fleet enhancement: The Indian Coast Guard, responsible for preserving and protecting the marine environment, is honing its pollution control abilities by acquiring three vessels to check oil spills. These vessels are being built by the ABG Shipyard Group at Surat in Gujarat. They would be stationed near oil exploration platforms -- one in the eastern region and two in the western region, which has greater maritime traffic.

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