Environment Committee seeks report on pollution levels at cement manufacturing units

JAMMU: The Committee on Environment of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on Monday directed the Industries and Commerce Department to depute a team of officers to Kathua district to inspect the level of pollution at the Cement Units operating in the area.
It also asked the government to furnish the report to the Assembly Secretariat by January 31 for scrutiny of the committee members, according to an official spokesperson.
The committee, which met under the chairmanship of MLA MY Tarigami here, reviewed the measures taken by the department for protection of environment and minimising the pollution levels at the industrial estates of Samba and Kathua districts.
The twin districts of Samba and Kathua has seen most of the industrial investment in the state by the multinational companies and big business houses of India after Jammu and Kashmir announced a number of incentives under Industrial Policy in 2004.
The committee members AR Veeri, Mohammad Yasin Shah, Mohammad Khalil Band, Javid Mustafa Mir, Durga Dass and Prof Gharu Ram Bhagat gave their suggestions for preservation of environment around the industrial estates in the twin districts.
The panel observed that the industrialisation was imperative for over all development of the state, but the industrialists should ensure that there will be no adverse effect on environment and the population living around the industrial estates. The committee opined that there was a need to evolve an effective mechanism to monitor and minimise the hazardous effects of industrial pollution. It asked the enforcement agencies to ensure that all industrial units are fitted with the pollution control devices and treatment of industrial waste system.
The committee stressed on close coordination between Pollution Control Board, Industries Department and district administration to enforce the pollution control norms at all industrial units.
About pesticide units in Samba district, the Deputy Commissioner, Samba informed the meeting that out of 17 pesticides units, 13 are presently functional in the district. He also informed that anti-pollution control devices have been installed at these units and a team of officers has been constituted to keep a close vigil. He informed that the devices installed in all these units are functional.
Detailed discussion was also held on the directions issued by the committee to the executing agency for the widening of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway including the construction of Chenani-Nashri tunnel.
The committee stressed on immediate implementation of directions and suggestions in this regard.
The chairman of the committee directed the Labour Commissioner and other concerned to implement the committee’s directions in letter and spirit and any lapses in this regard will be dealt seriously by taking action under law.