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Orissa serves partial closure notice to sponge iron plants

Bhubaneswar: Tightening its noose against "polluting" industries in the state, Orissa government today issued "partial closure notices" to 26 sponge iron plants for not complying with the stipulated pollution control norms, official sources said.

"The 26 sponge iron units are found not enhancing their bag filter capacity and dust handling system despite several notices. Some of them are told to scale down production or work under the capacity of their bag filter," Forest and Environment Minister Debi Prasad Mishra told reporters.

The state government`s action followed show cause notice to 68 sponge iron units in June.

"Initially 68 units were served with show cause notices. However, 42 of them have responded and enhanced their bag filter. But the 26 others are yet to modify themselves," said S Das, member secretary of the Orissa State Pollution Contorl Board.

All 104 sponge iron plants in the state were inspected by IIT, Kharagpur and asked to enhace their bag filer and dust handling system in order to decline the pollution level. While 29 units fully complied on the first phase and seven others were on different stages of modification, 68 others were given show cause notice, Das said.

The seven units which were on the process of modification, had been asked to scale down their production, Das said adding that of the 26 units, maximum of seven plants were located in Sundergarh district followed by five each in Keonjhar and Sambalpur districts. Others were located in Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Cuttack and Mayubrhanj districts, he said.

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