DIBRUGARH, Dec 14 - The management of Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL) operating the multi-crore-rupee Gas Cracker project at Lepetkata near here, is on a sticky wicket after the Eastern Zone (Kolkata Bench) of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed it to keep the plant closed till effective pollution prevention measures are taken.
There are serious complaints of atmospheric and water pollution caused by the Gas Cracker plant. Local residents often complain of skin diseases and breathing problems, allegedly triggered by toxic fumes from the plant. Harmful effluent water discharge leading to problems for the local fishermen communities has also been widely alleged.
The BCPL management rushed with documents of compliance of pollution control norms and samples to the NGT, but the court has fixed January 16, 2018 for the hearing, AK Singh, Managing Director of BCPL, told The Assam Tribune. The shutdown order has created sensation not only among the employees but other stakeholders of the project.
Meanwhile, the BCPL management authorities have reportedly succeeded in getting a stay order from the Gauhati High Court.
The NGT ordered a shutdown of the plant after receiving complaints from Saikhowa-Sadiya Min Samabai Samiti Ltd and Dibrugarh Fishery Cooperative Society Ltd regarding discharge of effluents from the BCPL into River Brahmaputra. The Court, after going through the analysis report of the sample waste water collected from effluent treatment plants on two dates � August 7, 2017 and September 5, 2017 � had found that the level of discharge of at least five components was in excess of the permissible standards.
However, Singh allayed all fears of shutdown of the Gas Cracker plant, stating that everything was in order now. �We are operating within permissible limits now and we have already submitted the compliance documents and sample analysis report to the NGT. We are optimistic that the Court will rule in our favour on January 16, 2018,� said the Managing Director.
It may be mentioned here that ever since the commissioning of the Gas Cracker plant, the BCPL management has been accused of finding a way round to pacify local organisations and environmentalists holding it responsible for causing pollution. The lack of concern on the part of the civil administration despite a series of protests and demonstrations also needs mention in this regard.