A joint committee set up by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to look into environmental violations by Chemplast Sanmar industries in Tamil Nadu has pointed out various shortcomings by the industrial unit in an inspection report.
The Tamil Nadu government had granted lease to Chemplast Sanmar Limited to establish five different units to manufacture various chemicals.
A petitioner, K Gemini, had alleged that the units were discharging poisonous effluents into river Cauvery and that the resultant water pollution had increased cancer, skin disease cases in nearby Gonur and Veerakkalpudur villages.
The NGT principal bench, in September 2019, constituted a committee consisting of representatives of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and other related state agencies to look into the issue. The panel inspected the industries thrice and submitted its report on June 1.
According to the report, hazardous waste generated from plant-I, II and III was being disposed of in captive Secured Land Fills (SLFs) instead of being sent to Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TDSF). Another recommendation on installation of a stormwater management system was not complied with, the report said. The system was to collect and store surface runoff (contaminated with product or raw material), so that no water was let out in public drains.
No steps were taken to install continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQM) for monitoring particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulphur oxide (SOx). Only volatile organic compound levels were measured, and that too was not on a real-time basis, the report added. CPCB guidelines were violated partially at SLF operations and there was no waste inspection data maintained. Besides green norms, industry safety measures too were inadequate, said a separate study by the state industry department.
National Geophysical Research Institute is assessing water samples from open and bore wells in nearby villages. Counsel appearing for Sanmar has sought time to file a detailed objection. The case has been adjourned to August 21.