Pollution still an issue in industrial estates


Out of the state’s 22 industrial estates – including those in Daman and Diu – three have steel rolling mills in various numbers.
The highest number being in the Cuncolim industrial estate with around 14-15, followed by Kundaim with around 9 and Madkaim with around 5.
Cuncolim is the only industrial estate that has a hazardous waste problem and its first fish meal plant is generating a lot of heat from the locals, who are afraid that in case one is given permission there will be more. Steel mills have been known to cause air and water pollution.  
Sources say that there are at least 10 plot owners that are waiting to see if the first permission is given, including some major players in the fishing
Allegations have been made that the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) issues notices, but follow up action is not taken, or action taken only in certain cases and not across the board or following principle of natural justice – prime example being the Goa Medical College, a perennial defaulter in bio-medical waste disposal – factors could be lack of manpower (standard excuse) or political permutations and calculations (people’s allegation).  
The GSPCB has already directed the Goa State Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) to dispose off 25,000 tonne of accumulated hazardous waste at the Cuncolim industrial estate that was stored in a plot originally owned by Sunrise Zinc Ltd and now known as Axis. Sunrise Zinc Ltd produced copper, zinc and brass from copper dross, zinc skimmings and brass dross by solvent extraction.
GSPCB and GSIDC top bosses including the board chairman, Mr Jose Manuel Noronha and member secretary, Mr Levinson Martins, Mr Manguekar and Mr Diniz (deputy general manager and field manager GIDC) and company officials were present during the inspection that found a shed demolished. They also found that on the plot allotted to construct the landfill for hazardous waste, construction still
not begun.
The board officials also visited the controversial fish meal plant. Sixteen companies in the state were on Friday issued show cause notices by the GSPCB for failing to install pollution monitoring equipment despite several warnings.
The board also issued show cause notices to 16 companies questioning them over the failure to install an online stack emission, effluent and ambient air quality monitoring system.    
Sources inform that 15 out of 16 have agreed to the measures while one – the state run sugar factory – Sanjivani Sahakari Sakkar Karkhana Ltd, is pleading no funds.
Some time back there were allegations that industrial units from the Pilerne industrial estate were polluting village wells mostly due to discharge of chemicals in storm water drains. [NT]