Mrunal Manmay Dash

Paradip: Odisha State Pollution Control Board (SPCB), on direction by National Green Tribunal (NGT), has slapped fines on eight errant industries including the Paradip Port Trust for flouting environmental norms in the port city.

As per reports, after complaints, the SPCB had issued a show-cause notice to the Port Authority and other industries six months back for the same reason. Due to non-responsiveness of the industries, the pollution watchdog has now levied a fine of Rs.1 Crore on Paradip Port Trust, Rs. 50 Lakh each on two MSMEs and Rs 25 Lakh each to five small scale industries.

The Regional Official of the Pollution Control board, Dillip Kumar Dash said, “We have penalised the industries because they were found to be polluting the environment with particulate matter above permissible limits.”

“Paradip Port, Paradip Phosphates Limited (PPL), IFFCO and IOCL are some big industries that have been fined,” concluded Dash.

When OTV inquired with the port authorities, Rinkesh Roy, the Chairman of Paradip Port Trust said, “The fines have been wrongly levied upon us. We have appealed against this decision of SPCB and the matter is subjudice.”

Local residents in the port town allege that smoke guzzling plants and heavy vehicles transporting materials to the industries have been causing acute pollution in the region and taking a toll on the health of the people.

They say that the erring officials of the Port Trust should be taken to task instead of making the organisation to cough up the ‘public money’ from its exchequer.

Gatikrushna Satpathy, a local said, “If the pollution guidelines have been religiously followed, it would have been a completely different picture today.”

“The fine should be collected from the erring officials whose mismanagement and negligence have brought this ‘unnatural calamity’ upon us, not the port authority which is running on public money,” added Satapathy.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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