Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005
Industry & Economy
Orissa not to allow setting up of new sponge iron units
Bhubaneswar , April 26
TAKING note of the pollution being caused by sponge iron units, the Orissa Government has recently decided not to allow setting up of new sponge iron units in the State.
The decision will also cover the 30-odd applications pending with the Orissa State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) for obtaining no objection certificate to set up such highly polluting units.
A high-level meeting chaired by the State Chief Secretary has also decided that the benefits for sponge iron units specified in the Industrial Policy Resolution will be withdrawn and no further NOC for sponge iron units will be issued.
There are 64 sponge iron units in operation in the State, out of which 32 are in Sundargarh district and 17 are in Keonjhar district.
Besides, NOC has been granted to 18 more sponge iron plants to be set up in seven districts. The meeting also decided that no permission will be given for adding capacity to the existing sponge iron units except when it is a part of an integrated steel plant and memorandum of understanding has already been signed.
Separate energy meters for air pollution control devices will have to be installed by the sponge iron units and the meters will be jointly sealed by the representatives of the OSPCB and the power distribution companies.
It was also decided that consent fees for existing units would be enhanced adequately. Co-generation of power would be insisted upon in respect of the existing plants failing which NOC would be withdrawn.
Extension from 50 tonnes per day capacity to 100 tonnes per day capacity would be allowed only if there is co-generation of power.
The inspecting system of the OSPCB would be strengthened and additional technical manpower would be engaged by it at Rourkela and Cuttack regional offices.
A new regional office of the OSPCB will be established at Keonjhar with suitable staff.
The meeting also decided that there will be two dedicated sections of armed police to assist the regional offices of the OSPCB in conducting inspection and taking punitive action as and when required.
Besides, it was decided that the terms of reference of public hearing being conducted by OSPCB would be verified and clear guidelines for conducting these hearing would be issued.
Green belt plantation would be taken up on a massive scale in areas having sponge iron units in the coming rainy season.
The meeting was attended by top officials of the Departments of Energy, Forest and Environment and Industries, the Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Orissa Ltd and OSPCB.
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