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Closure notice to Amara Raja: No industry was singled out

Secretary (Forest and Energy) G.V.S.R. Vijay Kumar has made it clear that no industry was singled out as reported in a section of media but closure and stop production notices were served as per norms on the Amara Raja Batteries Limited.

Reports appeared in a section of media suggested that the company was moving out of the State owing to the ‘harassment by the State government’.

“During the inspections, pollution levels were found to be high in some industries including the Amara Raja Batteries in violation of the norms. It was found that the managements had violated the norms and as directed by the High Court, they were asked to shift the industries, as irreparable damage had been done to the ecosystem surrounding the units,” said Mr. Vijay Kumar, adding that the management had been served notices twice, in addition to the legal hearing on their violations, before the closure orders were served just like the other industries.

High Court directive
Mr. Vijay Kumar said the company had moved the High Court, challenging the closure orders and the court ordered to constitute a team to study the conditions in the industries. “In fact, reports by both the APPCB and Hyderabad-based EPTRI (Environment Protection Training and Research Institute) have mentioned that dangerous levels of lead have been identified in air, water, land and even in the blood samples of the factory staff. Based on the reports, the High Court asked the company to initiate measures to address the pollution issue, but it had failed to do so,” said Mr. Vijay Kumar.

Mr. Vijay Kumar said that Nayudu Cheruvu, Gollapalli reservoir and other tanks were highly contaminated with presence of lead ranging from 134.79mm to 3159mm. Almost 4-5 km radius surrounding the industries has been highly polluted.

Although the APPCB accorded permission to operate 28 air stags, it was using more than 137 air stags unauthorisedly, he said, adding that even employees of the industries were also found with alarming levels of lead (42 mg/dcl) in their bodies due to severe exposure. The Hindu

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