The National Green Tribunal has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to make a categoric statement about foundry industries operating without environment clearance in Jasodharpur Industrial Area (JIA) in Uttarakhand's Kotdwar area.
A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim asked the MoEF to inform the tribunal within a week whether the industrial activity in question requires environmental clearance or not
A foundry is a factory that produces metal castings. Metals are cast into shapes by melting them into a liquid, pouring the metal in a mold, and removing the mold material or casting after the metal has solidified as it cools.
Advocate Sanjay Upadhyay, appearing for petitioner Shiv Prasad, said the situation was "alarming" as unchecked pollution was being caused by the industries.
He alleged that the MoEF was deliberately evading the question on the requirement of environmental clearance by these industries.
"On behalf of the project proponent it is submitted that industry in question is not a polluting unit and the photographs shown by the applicant do not make out any case for action by the tribunal.
Be that as it may, we grant finally one week time to the MoEF to make a categorical statement on the issued raised by the tribunal," the bench said.
The matter is posted for next hearing on August 3.
The petition had alleged that several industries are operating illegally, without consent from the state pollution control board or an environmental clearance in JIA near Kotdwar.
It had said that these industries are also major source of air pollution in the area and are a public health hazard.
Prasad had alleged that the units have also been flouting industrial pollutant discharge norms by dumping foundry slag on the banks of the Sigaddi Srot river.