The Punjab government will prepare master plans for environmentally compatible zones in Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh, the two industrial towns in the state with the highest levels of pollution.
Cost effective technologies pollution control have been prepared by the Punjab Pollution Control Board for use in small and tiny industries like cupola furnaces, bricks kilns, rotary furnaces, rice shellers and electroplating units. The board has also prepared an atlas for setting up industries in Ludhiana.
Since a large number of industrial units have been operating from residential areas, both in Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh, the state government has prepared time-targeted action plans for the two towns to check air, water and noise pollution. The action plans follow recommendations of a committee set up on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to shift the polluting units in Ludhiana and Mandi Gobind Garh to designated industrial areas by 1998.
The issue of shifting polluting industries has already been taken up by a high-level coordination committee dealing with environment and development plans of Punjab. As per the state government decision, the shifting of polluting units will be undertaken by the Punjab State Industrial Deve- lopment Corporation (PSIDC).
The Punjab Small Scale Industries and Export Corporation has been asked to provide the common effluent treatment plants in the designated industrial areas for treating the effluents discharged by the electroplating and dying units.
Sources in the Punjab Pollu- tion Control Board said that so far 50 per cent of the water polluting industries and 25 per cent of the air polluting industries have adop- ted pollution control measures. The board is hopeful of getting the necessary equipment inst- alled in the remaining units soon. in the next three years.
The state government is giving special attention to the ancillary units of Mandi Gobindgarh, particularly those located along the Grand Trunk Road to check pollution under the time-bound programme. At present, there are about 500 industries in Mandi Gobindgarh, including 162 rolling mills, 22 induction furnaces, 31 cupola furnaces, nine forging units and nine refractory units which generate pollutants like suspended particulate matter, sulphur dioxide due to the burning of coal, furnace and hard coke. Induction and electric are furnaces are generating dust particles and oxides of metal into ambient air.
The Punjab State Pollution Control Board is conducting a study regarding underground water pollution in Mandi Gobindgarh. So far it has not fully succeeded in persuading the units to run their pollution control devices regularly.
The state government has asked the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology to provide knowhow to the units for the suction system of the air pollution control devices. At present, 90 per cent water-polluting and 75 per cent air-polluting units is Mandi Gobindgarh have taken measures or installed device to control pollution. The board is hopeful that by March 1998, the remaining units will also get the pollution control devices installed.