SMEs fight pollution in Ludhiana | SupportBiz

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SMEs fight pollution in Ludhiana

Small to midsize industrial units in Ludhiana, India’s most polluted city, anguished by the lack of sufficient guidance in pollution control, are taking matters into their own hands as far as controlling industrial pollution is concerned, according to local industry bodies.

Ludhiana is a major industrial hub in Punjab and is known for its garments and textile industry. Industrial units are taking to treating industrial waste water at privately-run facilities for the same, said Narinder Miglani, general secretary, Ludhiana Knitwear Club.

Not all SMEs can afford to treat waste water. The government could step in to develop waste water treatment plants near SME cluster, Miglani said.

Cycle part manufacturers in the city have taken to a tree-planting drive in-and-around the industrial belt. They have already planted 5,000 saplings in the last few months, said DS Chawla, who runs a cycle parts unit. Chawla was the former chairman of the Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

These industrial units too are transporting waste water to effluent treatment facilities, Chawla said. They have also installed high chimneys fitted with filters, efforts to control air pollution levels.

Diesel vehicles are a major source of pollution within the city. The state’s pollution control agency, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), should take serious measures to ban diesel vehicles in the city and should do more to create awareness among smaller industrial units regarding the harmful effects of the pollution, Chawla said.

Non-governmental organization EcoSikh is working in this direction. It has managed to motivate the Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association to adopt schools; harvest rain water; take to take to tree-plantation drives; and organise cycle rallies to educate and motivate local residents, project manager Ravneet Singh said. Several industrial units have started harvesting rain water, he said.

According to PPCB, respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) levels in Ludhiana, at 214 micrograms per cubic meter in the city’s commercial and industrial zones, is much higher than the permissible limit of 100 micrograms per cubic meter.

The levels of sulphur dioxide and oxide of nitrogen are 10 and 27 micrograms per cubic meter respectively.

PPCB on its part serves notices to errant industrial units. A total of 297 notices have been served under various acts of pollution control in the last six months, said superintendent engineer Karunesh Garg.

The PPCB has also setup a help desk for guiding industrialists, Garg said.