INDIA: Pollution watchdogs to close Aska coop mill
Published: 07/13/2012, 11:12:21 AM
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has served a closure notice on Aska Cooperative Sugar Industries Limited (ACSIL), the oldest sugar factory in the cooperative sector in the state at Aska in Ganjam district, according to the Times of India newspaper.
Pointing out several deficiencies in pollution control measures by the industry, found by a team of the board which visited the unit in March, the CPCB notice, a copy of which is with TOI, threatened to take appropriate action against the unit without giving any further notice, in case of default in complying with the closure order. The board had issued an ultimatum to the organization in November, allowing it time to operate the distillery unit till February this year, during which time ACSIL was supposed to get its anti-pollution act together.
The CPCB team pointed out the unit has not taken steps to install an effluent treatment plant (ETP) and zero discharge system, including a composting yard. "The unit is operating a distillery plant without adequate ETP, which is posing a serious threat to surface and ground water," the CPCB observed.
Ganjam district collector Krishan Kumar, also the president of ACSIL managing committee, said, however, the organization is trying to meet anti-pollution control measures pointed out by CPCB. "The pollution control process has already been initiated. We will meet the green norms soon," he said.
Besides processing sugarcane for about five months in a year, the 50-year-old unit runs a distillery unit to produce rectified spirit. Around 100,000 people, including sugarcane farmers of Ganjam district, are dependent upon the factory for their livelihood. Ganjam district sugarcane growers' association general secretary Samir Pradhan said the government should intervene for smooth running of the industry as around one lakh families are dependent on it.