17 factories in Uttarakhand asked to shut over pollution, jobs at stake

Court had asked state to take action on units for causing pollution


Complying with the Uttarakhand High Court’s orders, district administrations in the state on Friday began sealing 17 factories, including that of Sharda Motors, for causing pollution. According to an estimate by Pankaj Gupta, president of the Industries Association of Uttarakhand (IAU), hundreds are likely to lose jobs following the closure. 

“Under the high court’s orders, we have given closure orders to 17 factories over pollution in the state,” said SP Subudhi, member secretary of the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB), the state-run nodal agency. Last year, the high court had asked the UEPPCB to prepare a list of factories which were causing pollution with regard to various air and water norms.

Haridwar district magistrate Deepak Rawat, along with senior officials, went to the Hariwar Industrial Estate on Friday and started closing 3-4 factories in the premises, which includes Sharda Motors, a top notch company. 

A few days earlier, the UEPPCB had asked the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited to disconnect power connection of these factories. Shree Metal Finishers and Vee Tee Auto factories, which are located at Bhadrabad area in Haridwar district, were also being closed. A total of seven factories are being closed in Haridwar alone. 

On Thursday, the high court in Nainital had expressed displeasure after the UEPPCB had stated that all firms which were served notices for causing pollution were not closed due to lax attitude by the district administration. 

Following this, the high court had asked the state administration to take immediate action and file a compliance report by Monday.