No industry was singled out in AP
Secretary of Forest Department G S R K R Vijay Kumar, has made it clear that no industry was singled out as reported in a section of media but closure and stop production notices were served as per norms.
Vijay Kumar said Amara Raja Industries was among the 50 industries that given notice for closure and 64 industries have been given stop-production orders.
The Pollution Control Board (PCB) conducts random inspections every month in various category industries, like cement, pharma and others, and 54 industries were inspected in January this year. During inspections, pollution levels were found to be high in some industries violating the norms along with Amara Raja.
It is found that the managements have violated the PCB norms and as directed by the High Court, they were asked to shift the industries, as irreparable damage was done to the ecosystem surrounding the industries. He said that the management had been given notices twice in addition to the legal hearing on their violations, before serving the closure orders, just like in other industries.
Vijay Kumar stated that the company has approached the High Court challenging the PCB’s closure orders, where the Court ordered to constitute a team to study the conditions prevailing in the industries. In fact, reports by both APPCB and Hyderabad-based EPTRI (Environment Protection Training and Research Institute) have mentioned that dangerous levels of lead have been identified in air, water, land and even in the blood samples of the factory staff. Based on the reports, the High Court asked Amara Raja Batteries to initiate measures to address the lead pollution from its factories, where the management failed to do so, he added.
Further, he stated that air, water and land were polluted to a great extent even affecting the health of the employees working in those industries. Going into the details, Vijay Kumar said that Nayudu cheruvu, Gollapalli reservoir and other tanks were highly contaminated with lead ranging from 134.79mm to 3159mm.
Almost 4-5 km radius surrounding the industries has been highly polluted. Although PCB gave permission to operate 28 air stags, unauthorisedly using over 137 air stags, he said and added that even employees working in the industries were also found with alarming levels of Lead 42 mg/dcl in their bodies due to severe exposure.