The residents of Puttenahalli in J P Nagar 7th phase are worried about the increasing noise pollution in the vicinity and the lethargic attitude of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board officials. They are also living in fear, not willing to come out of their safe closets and complain openly.
A resident who doesn’t want to be named says that repeated complaints made to the board, forced KSPCB officials to conduct a spot inspection and issue a show cause notice to the erring Pallavi Engineering company.
The resident, through his email to Citizen Matters, says that nothing has changed since then and the company continues to be functioning like before. The KSPCB is not taking any action. He adds that a reminder was also sent to the KSPCB on March 29, 2013, stating that nothing had changed. But there was no response from KSPCB.
The resident also says that KSPCB, BBMP and the company have done nothing in this regard, despite being aware that the commercial unit has been set up and is functioning in a residential area.
Repeated efforts of Citizen Matters to contact this resident on the phone failed. He claims to have threat to life for him and his family.
Engineering firm in residential area
Pallavi Engineering company is located in a residential area and is said to be engaged in engineering works which include fabricating grills and iron doors. An email complaint was filed against the company with KSPCB, by a resident of the locality, on January 25, 2013.
KSPCB issued a show-cause notice to the firm on February 28, 2013, after the spot inspection conducted by Environmental Officer, Bommanahalli zone, C Siddaramaiah. The notice was issued for the violations under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
The inferences drawn at that time stated that the company was engaged in engineering works – fabricating grills and iron doors in the residential area, without the valid consent of the Board, causing nuisance and noise pollution in the surrounding area. The company was carrying out engineering works (fabrication) in the open area causing noise nuisance in the surrounding area. The sound levels were found high during inspection. It was also observed that the company was discharging effluents causing nuisance in the surrounding area.
According to the notice, M/s Pallavi Engineering Works was given seven days to file their objections with KSPCB explaining why a criminal case should not be filed against the company for violating the air and water acts. The company was also asked to explain why no closure directions should be issued by KSPCB under air and water acts.
The notice says: “The action includes issuing directions to BESCOM to cut off the power supply to the unit and directions to BBMP to cancel the license and directions to Deputy Commissioner to seize the unit. Please note the violations are very serious in nature and further action will be initiated without further notice, if no satisfactory reply is received within seven daysof the receipt of this notice.”
Complainant not willing to come forward
According to Siddaramaiah, as per rules, KSPCB calls both the parties – the complainant and the accused, to be present before the official in person to explain the issue. While members representing the firm, appeared for the hearing, the complainant has chosen to remain hidden till date. Not even once has he appeared before the board.
“We tried to communicate with the complainant, which failed. We assured him of his security and said that personal hearing will be held inside closed doors. But he has not met us till date. Unless the complainant comes forward in person, explaining what is the problem and why does he want the commercial unit to be closed down, we are unable to take any action,” says Siddaramaiah.
He also adds that the zonal office has requested the KSPCB head office to issue closure orders to the company. Their reply is awaited.
KSPCB says that permission to set up the firm in the residential area was issued by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. No permission was sought from or given by KSPCB.
Chandrashekhar, BBMP Deputy Commissioner, Bommanahalli Zone, says that permission is usually not granted for commercial establishments in residential areas, except for ration shops and grinding mills. “Permission to this firm has not been issued from the zonal office. We will have to check the issue,” he added.
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