A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Supreme Court of India against pollution created by the Pasakha Industrial Estate in Bhutan, which has long been affecting a large section of the people in Alipurduar district nearby. A hearing on the case is scheduled for tomorrow in Court No-2 of the apex court, it is learnt.

In his PIL, Mahendra Thapa, the General Secretary of the Cooch Behar Himalayan Nature Development Society has said that the effects of the pollution from the Pasakha Industrial Estate in Bhutan have been “large-scale”.

“We had lodged a complaint with the state and national pollution control boards, while we also tried to draw the attention of the local administration to grave problems, but in vain. At last, we had to knock the doors of the apex court so as to save precious life and water in our region,” said Mr Thapa. The Society has been collecting data on the effects of pollution in the Indian side for a long time now, it is learnt.

The Industrial Estate in Bhutan is located just across the Indo-Bhutan border, along the Central Dooars tea garden, under the Kalchini block in the district. It is learnt that there are 46 industrial units, including those that produce carbide, silicon, iron and glass, in the Pasakha estate.

“The pollution, which the industrial estate is creating, has posed a threat to the entire Kalchini block in the district,” a local man said. It is learnt that people living near the estate in the Indian side have developed various skin diseases.

“The air pollution which the industrial estate is creating is so much that the tin roof of the houses of people living near the industrial estate is developing holes within 2 or 3 years of the construction,” the local man added.

“The hearing of the PIL filed by my client Mahendra Thapa will be held in Court-2 of the Supreme Court tomorrow, which is Monday. We hope people will get some relief from the danger soon,” said SC lawer Sukriti Kashyap.

Alipurduar DM Surendra Kumar Meena said he was not aware of the matter. “I can comment anything only after the matter comes to me either from official sources or from any other source,” he said.