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KGCCI chief writes to CM, CS, seeks improvement in UEPPCB
The Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB) collects amounts in the name of environmental protection and pollution control from industries but spends this money on tasks other than environmental protection and pollution control. The newly elected head of the Kumaon Garhwal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KGCCI) Ashok Bansal levelled this allegation.
In a letter addressed to the chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and chief secretary Utpal Kumar Singh, the KGCCI chief said that small units operating in mini-industrial estates cannot afford to establish their own effluent treatment plants. In such mini-industrial estates, the UEPPCB should provide common effluent treatment plants. He informed that at the Eldeco-SIIDCUL industrial park in Sitarganj and the integrated industrial estate at Pantnagar, SIIDCUL was responsible for constructing the treatment plants but this task was done through another agency. This agency is charging exorbitant rates from industrial units for treatment of the contaminated water and even then the treatment is not up to standards. The UEPPCB too does not have any control over the agencies handling the treatment plants due to which the National Green Tribunal issues warnings from time to time regarding shutting down of the industries.
The board should invest capital for operation and maintenance of such plants and take over their control. The board should also establish modern plants for controlling air and water pollution in the State.
Apart from this the state administration should also seek funds from the Centre for construction of roads, development and infrastructural facilities. Bansal further requested the chief minister that the UEPPCB should be accorded freedom to work effectively as per its responsibilities so that it can construct, operate and maintain effluent treatment plants in the mini industrial estates in the state. The money received by the board should be used on cleaning of rivers, construction and taping of sewers and on construction of sewer treatment plants. He also requested the CM to direct that the funds of the board should be used only on works aimed at controlling the rising water and air pollution so as to facilitate swifter industrial development in the State.
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