Maharashtra environment department will soon start online monitoring of industries and their hazardous waste disposal based on which it would take a decision on renewing licences of such units.
It will also ask the industries to ensure that hazardous waste substances in their units are turned into non-hazardous material before being disposed, a senior environment department official said.
The environment department understands the importance of industries in the state and is keen to assist the government in its ‘Make in Maharashtra’ initiative to promote better and pollution-free industrial set-ups, he said.
“We will soon start an online monitoring mechanism for industries in Maharashtra. For this, we will be fitting a pollution controller in chimneys of industries that produce toxic smoke. This device will keep a track of smoke being released in every 15 minutes and prepare a chart accordingly. Thereafter, our department will look into these charts once every month and check if the industries ares complying with the pollution norms,” the official told.
The pollution control device will be tamper-proof. The control room will alert the department officials in case an attempt is made to alter the settings of the device, he said.
“We will renew licences of industries based on the evidence we gather through our online monitoring system. We strongly believe that industries should be given a chance to improve their style of working, but if they fail to heed our advice, strong action will be taken against them,” he said.
The department will also direct industries to recycle water in which waste material is discharged and based on the response of industries, their licences will be renewed.
“It will be compulsory for industries to convert the hazardous material discharged by their units into non-hazardous waste before being discharged in water. If a company does not find it feasible to install machines that do this work, we will press them to ensure that they send the material to a centralised hazardous materials processing centre,” he said.
To ensure that the hazardous material reaches its proper destination, the environment department is mulling to hold the units generating such waste responsible for it rather than tanker owners or contractors.
“We are also in the process of installing GPS devices in waste trucks so that we can keep a track of its movement. Action can be taken against any contractor if he does not reach the designated place and dumps the hazardous substance somewhere in between,” the official said.