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Maha govt bans four companies for laxity in pollution control

Mumbai: Sending across a stern message to industries causing air and water pollution in Maharashtra, the State Government has banned four companies from continuing operations in Chandrapur district, the Legislative Council was informed today.

The licences of these companies will not be restored unless they produce a zero pollution certificate and give undertaking that they will not violate green norms, said Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam.

Earlier, speaking during a calling attention motion, Shobhatai Fadnavis (BJP) pointed out that a 2002 Central Government survey found Chandrapur to be the fourth most polluted district in the country.

She alleged Maharashtra Pollution Control Board is not taking the issue seriously and questioned the parameters by which industries are given permits to operate there.

In his reply, Kadam said the BJP-led Government has confiscated bank guarantees worth lakhs of rupees of 28 companies and notices have been given to them for violating pollution norms.

“The kind of action that had been taken against these companies had not been taken in the last 15 years. Now, we will ensure there is no further pollution.

“After the current legislative session ends, we will call a meet of elected representatives of the district and local authorities to discuss the issue. We will put in place a mechanism to take a monthly account of the situation in Chandrapur,” Kadam informed the Upper House.

Congress Group Leader Manikrao Thakre pointed out power projects in the district in Vidarbha region too cause a lot of pollution.

He sought to know if the Government will stop giving operating licence to new power plants and cut off water supply of the existing ones if they are found to be violating pollution norms.

Kadam said permission for new projects will be given only after the Government takes into confidence the local elected representatives.

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