Two illegal garment dyeing units in Bengaluru, located off Kanakapura Road near the Art of Living Ashram, were 'seized' on Monday.
Local residents had filed repeated complaints with officials of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), claiming that the units were polluting groundwater.
When officials visited both the units for an inspection, they found that they were functioning despite being issued a closure notice in January.
â€śWhen the closure notice was issued, BESCOM (electricity board) had also disconnected the power supply,â€ť Anil Kumar, the concerned KSPCB environmental officer, told TNM.
He claimed that BESCOM officials on Monday found no change in the meter reading, suggesting that a diesel generator was being used from time to time to keep one of the two units running.
â€śSince we donâ€™t have any powers to seize any industry, officials from the Revenue Department and the Panchayat accompanied us. The landowner today assured us that the entire machinery will be shifted out in a weekâ€™s time. He said the other unit was completely empty,â€ť the officer said,
He clarified that since the power supply was already cut and a closure notice has been issued, there was no further punitive action that the KSPCB can take.
â€śThere was one worker each present in both the units. But we could not confirm who is running the unit. The workers working did not reveal anything when questioned,â€ť he claimed.
The issue was raised when residents of the area in March had staged protests against the indiscriminate garbage-burning in the area by local authorities. While the garbage burning has stopped to some extent, the segregation process continues to take place in the same area, making life difficult for the locals.
Residents have noted that the effluents that leak from the units often causes water to change colour to orange or light orange.
â€śThere are a couple of dye factories that are functioning just behind the Brigade Meadows apartment complex on Kanakapura Main Road. They have been discharging effluents to the natural water streams that flow through the Art of Living ashram, Brigade Meadows and further to Harohalli,â€ť Sanjay, a local resident said.
Not just the water, the soil around also gets polluted due to the effluents, he complained.
While the KSPCB claimed that they had no clue about who the owners are, local residents have told TNM that the units were operating under M/S Fashion Tex.
A resident who wished to remain anonymous alleged that the units were functioning with the encouragement of local power brokers and hence the leniency to the violators.