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As per the Environmental Pollution Control Act 1986 measure should be taken immediate in case of any cause of pollution effected by the Industry

Diganta Paul ,
  03 November 2011       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court Of India
Brief :
The High Court has by the impugned judgment inter alia directed that the industrial unit of the petitioner be closedown immediately because of the environmental pollution caused by the industrial unit
Citation :
Sterlite Industries (I) Ltd. Etc. Etc.… Petitioners Versus Union of India & Ors. Etc. Etc.… Respondents




SPECIAL LEAVE PETTION (C) NOs.28116-28123 OF 2010

Sterlite Industries (I) Ltd. Etc. Etc.                              … Petitioners


Union of India & Ors. Etc. Etc.                                    … Respondents




1) We have heard Mr. C.A. Sundram, learned counsel for the petitioners, Mr. Vaiko in-person for respondent no.1, Mr. V. Prakash, learned counsel for the respondent no.2, Mr. Guru Krishna Kumar, learned Additional A.G. for the Government of Tamil Nadu, Mr.  ubramanium Prasad, learned counsel for the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, and Mr. Vijay Panjwani, learned counsel for the  entral

Pollution Control Board.


2. The High Court has by the impugned judgment inter alia directed that the industrial unit of the petitioner be closedown immediately because of the environmental pollution caused by the industrial unit. On 01.10.2010, this Court directed that the matter be listed on 8.10.2010 and stayed the impugned judgment of the High Court till then. On 18.10.2010, the Court issued notice and continued the interim stay. The Court has continued the interim stay from time to time.


3. When the matter was taken up on 25.02.2011, the Court after  hearing learned counsel for the parties was of the view that an  independent assessment of the present situation and condition of the industrial unit of the petitioners, and its effect with reference to  environmental pollution by National Environmental Engineering  research Institute (NEERI), after a joint inspection with the officials of

Central Pollution Control Board, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the PIL petitioners before the High Court, will help the Court to arrive at a decision and accordingly directed NEERI to make a pollution and environmental impact assessment and submit its report. Accordingly, NEERI carried out the inspection during 6th to 8th April, 2011 and 19th to 22nd April, 2011 and submitted its report.


4. On 18.07.2011, the Court directed the Tamil Nadu Government as  lso the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to submit their comments/suggestions with reference to the NEERI report so that the Court can have a clear view about the existing position. On  5.08.2011, the Court after perusing the Status Report of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to file a synopsis specifying the deficiencies with reference to the NEERI report and suggest control measures that should be taken by the petitioners so that the Court can consider the direction to be issued for remedial measures which can be monitored by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.


5. The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has filed along with an  affidavit dated 30.08.2011, a Chart of deficiencies and measures to be implemented by the petitioners-industry which is to the following  effect:




Measure Suggested


To improve the



efficiency in

the process section


(1) Hoods with extraction system are to be installed for collection of fugitive emission at (i) smelter lance, (ii) smelter feed port, (iii) rotary holding furnace-slag

granulation & (iv) matte

tapping and to be connected to the control measures. In view of the above dditional emission load, the emission control measures of scrubbing system has to be enhanced.

(2) One bag house at smelter is to be installed prior to

scrubber, to control dust


(3) One bag house at converter is to be installed prior to

scrubber, to control dust


(4) Regulative measure for

periodical soot blowing

operation in waste heat

recovery boiler is to be

implemented to prevent

sudden emission load of soot particulates.




To improve





(1) Ducts to collect all the fugitive emission and control measure of flue gas  desulphurization

system consisting of bag filter and 2 stage lime scrubber are to be provided, as per the

engineering study carried out.

(2) Gypsum conveyor belt is to be made fully closed so as to

prevent fugitive emissions.

(3) The unpaved roads within the industry premises should be

pave to control the dust due to movement of vehicles.

(4) The frequency of water

sprinkling on roads is to be

increased to 4 times per shift to reduce the re- uspended dust particles due to

movement of vehicles.

(5) Permanent water sprinklers are to be provided at gypsum pond area and roc phosphate area.




To improve





(1) The chemical treatment

comprising coagulation flocculation

and settling is to be operated effectively to optimize the treatment

efficiency so as to improve

the performance of fluoride


(2) The existing reverse

osmosis plant is to be

operated to the maximum

capacity of 1,600 kiloliters

per day and maintained so

as to recover, recycle and

reuse the permeate.

(3) Iron removal plant as a

pretreatment facility to

reverse osmosis system is

to be installed for

sustaining the membrane

life and achieving optimum

membrane performance.



To improve disposal of rejects arising

from effluent





(1) The evaporation system along  with drying facility must be expanded to cope up with the capacity of the reverse

osmosis plant and improved to generate the concentrate in solid form.

(2) The reverse osmosis rejects stored in the temporary storage ponds must be taken for concentration and drying followed by disposal in secured landfill facility.

(3) The temporary storage ponds provided for disposal of reverse smosis rejects must be removed, in view of capacity augmentation of

evaporator system.




To improve raw


storage and



(1) The raw material of copper concentrate is to be stored in a closed shed and received & transferred in closed conveyor system.

(2) All the chemical storage tanks are to be provided with dykes to avoid the possibility of any accidental discharge.



To improve

storm water

drainage and




(1) The deposited silt in the storm water drains is to be removed and disposed off in secured landfill facility and this is to be practiced regularly to prevent any pollutant carryover and to avoid water logging.

(2) Additional rainwater collection reservoir with storage capacity of 30,000-50,000 cubicmeter, is to be provided to prevent discharge of runoff from the critical storage/process plant areas, during peak

precipitation, taking into

consideration of the recent

updated meteorological data and maximum industrial



To improve

solid waste



(1) The sold waste of slag is to be stored within the stipulated 10 hectares of land with a restricted stacking height of 12 meters so as to adhere with the safe load bearing capacity of 25  metric ton per square meter of the underlying soil/land in that area.

(2) The slag is to be disposed for beneficial uses, such as road formation, shot blasting, abrasive production, cement aggregate making and other relevant are as of application, with approval from concerned agencies. The monthly

disposal must be at least 50% more than the monthly generation quantities of both slag and gypsum.



To improve

monitoring of

air quality,

effluent and



(1) Additional electromagnetic flow meters (12 Nos.) are to be provided to assess (i) raw water consumption (4 Nos.),(ii) rain water consumption (3 Nos.) and (iii) waste water generation & waste water reuse (5 Nos.)

(2) Online pH meter is to be provided in reaction tanks of the effluent treatment plants to ensure optimum pH for

effective precipitation of the pollutants.

(3) Fluoride concentration in groundwater at gypsum

storage ponds is to be

regularly monitored, recorded and ensured with the baseline fluoride concentration.

(4) Health monitoring of the people living in the nearby villages is to be carried out at least once every six months.



To improve




(1) Around 26 hectares of land within the industry premises is to be earmarked and developed as greenbelt, to the width of 25 meters.

(2) Greenbelt cover should be improved around the

periphery of the smelter

plant, slag yard, gypsum

pond and secured landfill

facility to act as barrier to

control secondary fugitive


(3) The native species (achras sapota, azadirachta indica,

cassia fistula, cassia slamea, casuarinas equisetifolia, eucalyptus sp. Flcus benghalensis, ficul eligiosa,millingtonia hortensis, oringa

sp. Peltophorum ferrugineum, polyathia

lingifclia, pongarnia pinnata, prospis juliflora, tabefuia rosea, terminalia catappa, thespesia populnea, etc.) should be planted in new areas of greenbelt cover.”




6. We direct the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to issue directions, in exercise of its powers under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, to the petitioners-industry to carry out the aforesaid measures and remove the aforesaid deficiencies within such time as it thinks reasonable and proper. The directions will be issued by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board within two weeks

from today. The matter will be listed in the first week of January, 2012 and the interim stay of the impugned judgment will continue till then.



(R. V. Raveendran)


(A. K. Patnaik)

New Delhi,

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