HARIDWAR: As many as 366 factories in Haridwar district which were discharging effluents into the Ganga have been asked to wind up their operations by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The central board asked Uttarakhand State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to ensure that immediate action is taken against the units. They have also been asked to submit a compliance report in this regard.

The CPCB’s order follows an examination of factories in Haridwar, in which it was found that 366 of them were operating illegally. “The companies had no ‘consent to operate’, and they were polluting the river,” said PK Joshi, region officer of state pollution control board.

“On May 8, the CPCB had directed us to take action against the 366 factories. After that we issued a notice to the companies asking them wind up their operation in 30 days. However, on Thursday, the central pollution board asked us to ensure that the companies are shut down immediately. So, now, we are proceeding against the units and they will be shut down soon,” said Joshi.

However, Harendra Garg, president of Uttarakhand manufacturer’s association, questioned the move.

“No prior notice was sent to the industries. The units were not given any chance of course correction,” said Garg.

In March this year, both the pollution control boards had initiated scrutiny of 2,700 industrial units in Haridwar to determine whether they are following guidelines laid for waste disposal.

Six teams were deployed to check whether these units have a valid no objection certificate (NOC) and consent to operate. Each inspection team had a CPCB scientist, a member of the SPCB, a district administration official and a member of the district industrial centre.

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