According to Whitefield Rising, a citizens’ collective, residents have been drawing attention to the alarming levels of pollution from as early as 1997.

 Blurus Whitefield residents cheer as polluting Graphite India factory shuts down
news Graphite India Thursday, April 04, 2019 - 09:12

Citizens from Whitefield in Bengaluru have a reason to cheer with the unit of the Graphite India factory which has been polluting the neighbourhood, announcing the shutting down of its operations on Wednesday. The residents had been protesting against the factory for two decades now.

The decision to shut down the factory, headquarters of which are located in Kolkata, was relayed to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange in a letter written on April 3.

“The Board of Directors have vide a circular resolution passed yesterday evening, approved a proposal to permanently close operations in the Bengaluru plant within such time as is required by the company to obtain appropriate consents, approvals, authorisations and no objections,”  read the letter which was later uploaded to the BSE website.

Whitefield Rising, a citizens’ collective and activist group, has been engaged in a long battle with the company over the pollution caused by the factory. The group has been sounding alarms for years over the decreasing air quality in the locality, largely due to pollutants released into the air by the factory. Residents have been fighting against Graphite India for violating pollution norms and for using legal loopholes to continue functioning though the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) had ordered its closure in 2012.

Those living in the area have been exposed to incredibly high levels of air pollution. According to Whitefield Rising, residents have been drawing attention to the alarming levels of pollution from as early as 1997.

“In 2009, the Ferns Paradise, along with Seetharampalya village residents, came together as a collective for the first time, and approached the KSPCB. Closure orders and court cases followed in the Appellate Authority, NGT, and the Supreme Court. In 2018, WR came on board with the residents and took the campaign all the way to the Supreme Court. Now, after 10 long years, we finally have respite,” said a statement issued by the Whitefield Rising group.


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