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GPCB to monitor service stations engaged in tanker cleaning

Gujarat Pollution Control Board

Ahmedabad:  In order to reduce pollution in rivers and water bodies situated near industrial belts across the state, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has decided to keep a close watch on activities of service stations involved in cleaning chemical tankers.

To stop such illegal activities, GPCB has taken a tough stand against these service stations and issued a fresh set of guidelines, which makes it compulsory for these service stations to maintain round-the-clock CCTV footage of their operations for at least one week and produce it whenever asked by officials.

Apart from maintaining the offline data of CCTV footage, GPCB has also directed these service stations to uplink the CCTV cameras with the respective regional offices of GPCB, so that officials can watch the activities through real time display, stated the guideline document.

Giving insight into the need to issue this fresh set of guidelines, GPCB’s member secretary Hardik Shah said that several service stations were caught while disposing untreated chemical waste into the water.

He also claimed that many service stations are part of a larger nexus run by chemical factories and transporters.

“Large chemical factories are situated on the industrial belt starting from Ahmedabad to Vapi. They hire truck-tankers to transport chemical products. These tankers need to be cleaned from inside after every delivery as they carry different chemical in different trips. Thus many service stations are situated on this belt to carry out this task,” said Shah.

Ideally, these service stations need to treat the waste water used during cleaning and re-use it. Or, they need to transport it to a nearby Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CEPT) through pipeline. However, GPCB found that some service stations are disposing their untreated waste water directly into rivers or a nearby water source.

“Moreover, many of the stations have been used by factories and transporters to dispose their chemical waste illegally. Thus, tankers laden with chemical waste used to dump that toxic waste here, which is safer than disposing it illegally in open field. Such toxic waste gathered here is ultimately disposed in water bodies by these stations,” said Shah.

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