Industries to pay for pollution study

Madras high court asks companies in SIPCOT industrial estate to pay one lakh each

 
By Sumana Narayanan
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

The Madras High Court, in a recent order, instructed industries in the SIPCOT industrial estate of Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu to pay Rs one lakh each to measure the pollution levels in the estate.

At the court’s behest, the study is to be conducted by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). The order came after NEERI told the court that the study would cost about Rs 25 lakh and take three months to complete. The estate consists of about 20 functioning pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
   
The court also instructed NEERI to consult the community and SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM) who have been impleaded in the public interest litigation. The case originated when the court took cognisance of an air quality report published by SACEM, a community initiative to track pollution levels (see Lungful of poison, Down To Earth December 31, 2007), in 2004 and asked the state legal authority to file a petition against the state pollution control board and the secretary, state environment department. NEERI had earlier submitted a report in 2008 for the pollution control board which confirmed SACEM’s findings of high pollution levels.
   
The next hearing is slated for April 2011.

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