3,000 firms operating sans consent to face the axe
Over 3000 micro and small scale industries (investment in plant and machineries) will be issued show cause notices on Wednesday by the Goa State Pollution Control Board for operating without consent under the Water and Air Act, in tune with the Central Pollution Control Board directives.
The failure to reply to the notice within 15 days will lead to the suspension or closure of the unit.
The industries have come under scrutiny following a recent Central Pollution Control Board letter which pointed out that as per Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report there are total 6129 small scale industries (investment in plant and machineries between Rs 25 lakhs to Rs 5 crore) in Goa, of which only 1450 have obtained consent to operate.
Following this report, Ministry of Environment and Forest selected Mumbai-based Aditya Environment Services Pvt Ltd for identifying the number of SSI units. As per their report, Goa has around 2016 SSI units ~1097 in north and 919 in south.
GSPCB then sought information from the Directorate of Industries, Trade and Commerce (DITC), according to which there were around 3000 micro and small scale industries operating without consent till 2011. The figures produced by both the industries, however do not tally with CAG figures and it is assumed that some units may have closed down. But GSPCB Chairman Jose Manuel Noronha said that board decided to stick with DITC figures and a decision was taken that all 3000 units would be issued show cause notices.
The notice reads ‘why appropriate action as per the provisions of Water and Air acts should not be initiated against you (units) for operating without obtaining consent to operate, as required under the said acts and causing air and water pollution in the area’. [H]