Residents seek closure of coke, sulphur units

5:16 PM, Thursday, May 7th, 2015
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coke, sulphur unitsMangaluru : Residents of Jokatte and activists marched to the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited’s main gate demanding the closure of the coke and sulphur recovery units for the alleged violation of pollution norms.

The protest march was carried out by the Nagarika Horata Samiti, Jokatte and members of other local social organisations also joined in it. Samiti convenor B.S. Hussain said that residents of Jokatte and neighbouring areas continued to suffer from the bad odour and the black dust emanating from the two units.

“It had reduced recently but has resurfaced over the last five days,” he said.

Mr. Hussain accused the refinery of continuing to violate the norms laid down by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).

Activist Vijay Kumar Shetty asked protestors not to back off from their demonstration for the protection of their land, water and air. “If cases are booked, I am here to render legal support,” he said.

coke, sulphur unitsMr. Shetty blamed Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim for his inaction regarding the concerns expressed by residents. Democratic Youth Federation of India’s State secretary Muneer Katipalla said that they would not allow the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to renew the licence for the refinery to run the coke and sulphur recovery units from July.

Meanwhile, KSPCB chairman Vaman Acharya and other members on Tuesday saw a presentation made by the refinery about pollution measures carried out at the two units.

The presentation was made after two notices by the board pointing lacunae in pollution control measures.

According to sources, MRPL officials talked about measures, including creating a fog-like condition around the coke silos to prevent ash from flying away. They also talked about the use of high-capacity vacuum cleaners at the coke and sulphur yards to remove residues in the area.

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