SMEs must follow environmental laws, as 523 small and micro industrial units shut down in Goa


The report of the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has said that as many as 523 small and micro industrial units were shut down during the year 2014-15 for violating norms under air and water pollution act. The annual report of GSPCB was tabled on the floor of the House. It mentions 48 spas, saloons and massage parlours are amongst these 523 units which saw the closure by the board.

The move comes in view of directions from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued in May 2013. Of the total 523 units that have been shut down, more than half are located in the mining belt, which is currently undergoing economic recession. These units include hotels, eateries, electronic manufacturing, flour mill, repair shops, canning company, distilleries, packaging and beverage, fish meal, bakeries, metal, wood, cement,units and others.

GSPCB, is the regulatory body for granting consent to operate under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 in the state. The board has granted nearly 1,538 fresh consent to various industrial units and 211 consents to various industrial units to establish in last one year.

The report mentions that these consents were also granted under medical Waste (management and handling) Rules 1998 and hazardous waste (management and handling) Rules 2000. The report also mentions that in one year, the Board has issued total 1,045 showcause notices and directions to those units which are operating without consent and also in violations of consent conditions.

For the year 2014 alone, the Board had issued showcause notices to around 170 spas and salons for operating without the consent. The Board had made No Objection Certificates(NOCs) from health department and local bodies compulsory for obtaining consent to operate. NGT in its May 8, 2013 order directed pollution control boards across the country to close down all units, including hotels, shacks, eateries and others functioning without the consent.

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