Pollution penalty

the district court in Junagadh, Gujarat, has convicted five persons for polluting the environment, 13 years after a case was registered against them.

The court has slapped each of the convicts with three-year jail terms and Rs 5,000 as fine. The judgment was in response to a case registered by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (gpcb) in 1993 against a chemical unit, Jayesh Industry Ltd, located at Choki Sorath village, 10 km from Junagadh city. "The chemical unit was polluting the air, water and hence environment. And it was doing irreparable damage to the environment and future generation,' the court observed in its judgment.

had inspected the unit following media reports that cited complaints from residents of Choki Sorath and Majevadi villages. The villagers had blamed the industry for releasing untreated effluents, which turned the groundwater red and damaged crops. During its inspection, gpcb had found the industry was producing 2.5 tonnes of chemicals, including sulphuric acid and sulpho chloride without getting the mandatory clearance from gpcb. Besides, the unit had no effluent-treatment plant and was releasing 950 litre of effluents directly into the Uben river daily , said gpcb officials.
The persons convicted are the factory owner Umesh Bosamiya, its manager Jayesh Bosamiya, and three partners Rasilaben Jivrajbhai, Arunaben Jivrajbhai and Renuka Girishchandra.

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