Graphite India : Closure order NGT – residents elated

Graphite India is getting closed.  NGT orders closure of the Co.  The residents of Whitefield are happy and elated.

The NGT order comes after the Apex Court fine Rs.50 lakh on Graphite India, Whitefield on October 30 2018.  The NGT has restored the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board’s (KSPCB) order of closure on Graphite India.

Graphite India :

Graphite India Limited (GIL) is the pioneer in India for manufacture of Graphite Electrodes as well as Carbon and Graphite speciality products.  Having started in 1967 in collaboration with erstwhile Great Lakes Carbon Corporation (GLCC) of USA.

Plant at Whitefield

GIL has been continually improving its product quality and services thereby scaling newer heights of excellence and customer recognition. 

Closure of Graphite India plant :

A long battle.  A decade long legal struggle.  But the result is a happy one.  The  legal struggle of residents of Whitefield has taken an important step forward after the NGT (National Green Tribunal restored the 2012 order of KSPCB to close the 50 year old plant for violations of rules.

NGT cleared the way for closure of the plant and also ordered a multi-agency survey of the pollution emanating from Graphite India.  Graphite India was a red category industry that manufactures graphite anodes, electrodes and paste.

NGT’s order :

The Tribunal’s order stated “Referring to the evidence available on record, more particularly the reports of inspections of the factory carried out by the Authority, it was held that the respondent Graphite India was grossly non-compliant of the requirement of environment mitigation measures”.

NGT

The NGT has directed constitution of a joint committee.  This  involves  the representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board, KSPCB and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). 

Work of the Committee :

They have to monitor pollution from the Graphite India’s stacks, ambient air  monitoring of  the area by setting up atleast 10 monitoring stations. The joint committee will also carry out a study on source apportionment of pollution sources.

Residents elated about Graphite India closure :

The NGT judgment has come as a shot in the arm after the Supreme Court in October 2018 deemed Graphite India as a polluter.

Affected by Whitefield phant

The original petitioners were supported by residents of nearby apartments and in later stages by the citizens’ collective, Whitefield  Rising in the legal battle against the co.

Conclusion :

The judgment relies on global studies on graphite dust pollution.  The bench recalled that the industry had done little to lower emissions in Bengaluru plant while they had complied with all laws in their factories abroad.

This comes as a lesson to those who take polluting the environment lightly. 

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