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200 cement brick units under GSPCB radar Shut-down notices issued to 30 units

Deccan Herald, Panjim, 5th September, 2014


PANJIM: The illegal cement brick units mushrooming along the roadside have finally come under the scanner of Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB), which has issued shut-down notices to nearly 30 units. The Board has identified over 200 such units operating without consent to operate under Air and Water Act.


Herald had last year, in a detailed investigation, exposed functioning of these units, even as the government machinery looked the other way. The operators of these businesses – mostly from Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand – are running the units from low-lying fields and the farmers too are happy renting out these for the lure of easy money. 


Since September 1, GSPCB has begun a drive wherein instructions have been issued to respective collectors and mamlatdars to furnish details about the number of cement brick units operational in the state. “Based on the report, we have issued shut-down notices to 30 units” GSPCB chairman Jose Manual Noronha said, adding 15 days time has been given to the mamlatdars to act upon the order. 


Noronha said that Board observed that the units, especially located along water bodies are creating water and air pollution in the vicinity. Also, it was found there is lack of sanitation.


The chairman said that the units will now have to apply with all necessary documents, including the ownership of land under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and under Section 31(A) read with Section 21 of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. 


GSPCB would be seeking compliance report from the respective collectorates once all 200 units are issued notices.