Three secondary steel units of Durgapur were caught flouting the basic standards of release of effluents both in the air and into the Damodar river.

ldquo;They have been summoned and issued showcause notices after the Task Force’s surprise inspection on Wednesday which revealed that the factories were indiscriminately releasing major polluting agents like Suspended Particulate Matter SPMrdquo; said SDM Durgapur Sankha Santra on Thursday.

He added ldquo;Also we found major anomalies on their part in maintaining safe working conditions inside the factory shops.

The workers at the factories according to the officials are forced to work in hazardous conditions as severe air pollution causes breathing trouble. Santra said ldquo;We stayed there for some time and were feeling uncomfortable. The plight of common workers can easily be imagined. I have asked the assistant labour commissioner to conduct a separate inspection and furnish a report.rdquo; Also he added ldquo;No supervisor was visible inside the factories and the factories inspector has been asked to look into the matter.rdquo;

On 20 September the Task Force had pulled up the same three units — CP Sponge Iron Shyam Steels Limited and Kajaria Iron Casting — for causing water pollution. Samples of polluted water were drawn from the Tamla channel that carries effluents to the Damodar river. The hazardous chemicals present in the samples were — Fluoride 0.36 miligram per litre Chloride 72.85 mg per litre and Calcium Carbonate. The hardness was measured at 140 mg per litre while total alkalinity of the water was measured at 190 mg per litre.

About the status of ambient air the Automatic Air Quality Information Station found on 28 September that presence of carbon monoxide between 6 pm and 7 pm was highest at 1.290000 mili gram per cubic metre and Nitrogen Di-Oxide and Sulphur Di-Oxide presence was recorded at 21.450000 micro gram per cubic metre and 9.950000 micro grams per cubic metre respectively.

Anjan Faujdar regional environmental engineer at the West Bengal Pollution Control Board’s regional office here stated ldquo;The process of conducting raids in different industrial units will continue as the production units are found blatantly flouting the pollution norms.rdquo;

It may be mentioned that a special Task Force was constituted to monitor environment pollution in and around the Durgapur industrial zone.

Despite its repeated warnings the three units were found at fault.