49 industrial units in Gujarat receive closure notice

there is no end to ghost pipelines in industrial areas in Gujarat. Recently, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (gpcb) had issued closure notices to 49 private industrial units including three chemical trading units in the Ankleshwar and Panoli industrial areas.

The board has also issued show-cause notices to 13 industrial units and two common effluent treatment plants on charges of releasing untreated and highly acidic effluents into open streams and underground drainage lines.

Earlier, in the last week of April, gpcb had uncovered 10 ghostlines (see Down To Earth, May 31, 2006). "If the units that have been served notices don't mend their ways, their electricity and water connections will be disconnected,' says V R Gadge, the regional officer of gpcb .

gpcb' s effectiveness in Ankleshwar faces criticism. The Vatva industrial association in Ahmedabad has accused gpcb of adopting double standards. "It had initiated criminal proceedings against 28 units in Vatva on similar charges. Then why is it not taking criminal action against the erring units in Ankleshwar and Panoli?' asks a unit owner in Vatva.

The Ankleshwar industrial area houses 1,200 units, mainly chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Environmental groups have demanded gpcb should keep a vigil in the area, since dumping untreated effluents and waste in open is a common phenomenon here.