The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) on Tuesday asked the concerned authorities to install air pollution control devices at the industrial town of Mandi Gobindgarh with immediate effect to control the rising pollution levels.

The decision in this regard has been taken following the reports of billowing out toxic smoke and other residue polluting the environment and spreading lung disease in the area.

PPCB Chairman KS Pannu said that mills have been directed to install a canopy-type smoke collector on its rolling units so that the smoke is filtered before being released in the atmosphere. A wet scrubber or bag filter in the device sucks the poisonous substances and other residue from the smoke, he said.

This new device will cut down on the Respiratory Particulate Matter (RPM) in a big way. The PPCB will extend technological help in the installation process.

“The Board is committed to creating a healthy and pollution-free atmosphere, which is essential for every human being. It has also made an action plan to create awareness among the owners of induction rolling mills regarding wet scrubbler or bag filter,” Pannu added.

According to Environment Engineer Rakesh Nayyar, a time limit has been fixed for the installation of these devices and the mills have been told to follow the norms in letter and in spirit.

The development is significant, the Board has warned stern action against erring mills which do not follow the installation instructions. The Board was also taking certain more measures to create a pollution-free atmosphere in Mandi Gobindgarh.