Mining companies will now have to pay for polluting air
The GSPCB has decided to make the mining companies pay for pollution by taking bank guarantee from the companies before granting them consent to operate.
“If a company fails to control the air and water pollution in the lease areas, the bank guarantee will be seized by the Board,” said Levinson Martins, member secretary, GSPCB.
The guarantee amount is likely to be based on area of the lease.
Till date, the GSPCB has not renewed the consent to operate to 12 of the 13 mining leases operating in Sonshi village.
The GSPCB is monitoring the air and water quality in the village using mining companies’ monitoring stations.
Later, it was felt that monitoring should be at the company mining stations to get an accurate picture.
Meanwhile, mining companies in Sonshi village have attributed the problem of pollution in the area to “lack of coordination between different leaseholders operating in the area.” A senior source in a company said, “The problem is of lack of coordination and also of managing villagers of Sonshi.” He claimed that effort of one leaseholder in reducing dust pollution is being counteracted by another who is not following the guidelines.
These include geonet fencing along the road near residential areas of the village, tarring of road shoulders to prevent dust generation, installation of cat-eye and road delineators, construction of rumblers at strategic places to replace speed breakers and installation of wheel-washing systems.
Companies have said that they have taken short-term measures or are in the process of following the directions.
But the GSPCB has decided to not give companies the consent to operate until it is satisfied that the issue of dust pollution is resolved.