When Shashikala (name changed on request) moved to Bank of Baroda (BOB) Colony in 7th Phase JP Nagar, she didn’t expect that she would have to spend so many sleepless nights. Loud noise from three granite cutting and polishing units nearby, working round the clock, has kept her awakeand other residents of the neighbourhood.
Add to this, the dust from these units has forced the resident to keep their doors and windows shut. "Because of the noise and the dust, we have to keep the doors and windows closed," said another resident on the condition of anonymity. The residents added that they live with the noise and dust, as they are wary of the consequences of complaining.
B V Subramaniam, 42, another resident nearby for nearly two years, said that things used to be much worse a year ago when there were many more such units in the vicinity. "Seven or eight such units were there before. Several of them have closed down and its slightly better," he said.
Three granite cutting and polishing units – Ashwini, Alankar and Vijaya Granites, owned by the same family, have been running since 1988 near 4th Main road, BOB Colony. The locality is mostly residential with middle-class families. Even when these units started off the area was not marked as industrial.
Owner of Alankar Granites, Ravi Reddy conceded that the units run round-the-clock but denied that they are causing nuisance to anybody. "We know the neighbours well. We have received no complaints," he said. The other owners were not available for comment. The large blades of the cutters make the jarring noise when they grind against the stone while it is being cut.
Santosh Kumar, environmental officer, Bommanahalli Zone BBMP, said that they have not received any complaints from residents about the stone cutting units. "We will take action if we receive any complaints," he said.
Citizen Matters impact
When Citizen Matters informed D Rajesh, environmental officer at Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) South division, of the situation, he inspected the units next day along with this reporter. He was told by Reddy that the units would soon be shifting to Anekal and Hosur.
Reddy’s unit did not even have a clearance certificate, KSPCB. Rajesh instructed that an undertaking, on a stamp paper, stating that the units will be shifted by April, has to be provided before Monday 21 November. He warned that power supply would be cut off, if the three units did not submit the undertakings.
Though the deadline had passed by the time the report was being published, no undertaking was given. Rajesh said "the owners have asked for a day’s time to submit the undertaking. We will initiate action if they don’t submit by tomorrow."
He added that, permission to continue operating in JP Nagar, even if the undertaking is submitted, will be decided by the Technical Advisory Committee shortly.⊕