Raman Singh warns Chhattisgarh’s polluting industries


Raipur : Upset over a flurry of complaints by villagers against pollution, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has asked industries in the state to act swiftly to check the problem and strictly follow the pollution control norms.

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“Industrialists must act to stop the emission of black dust from their units,” the chief minister told the state’s major investors in a meeting held here late Monday.

“Some coal-based industries shut down their air pollution control device during night hours which result in heavy emission of black dust,” he said at the meeting, which was called to discuss the state’s new industrial policy.

The chief minister said 90 percent of the industries were following the pollution control norms, but the remaining 10 percent are bringing bad name to the whole industrial sector.

His remarks come close on the heels of the recent protests by people living on the outskirts of Raipur against industrial pollution.

According to government officials, some 145 units situated in Urla, Siltara and Borjhara industrial areas are not using pollution control equipment.

The three areas are home to 43 sponge iron plants and some 100 rolling mills and ferro-alloy units.

K.S. Patel, an expert on industrial pollution and a professor at Raipur’s Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University, said pollution caused to severe health problems to people living in the capital city and its outskirts.

About one million people of Raipur and its 40 surrounding villages are suffering from serious respiratory diseases and skin cancer due to exposure to polluted air, water and dust-mixed grain and vegetables, Patel said.