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Paragon Steels Private Limited, Industrial Development Area, Palakkad, Represented by Its Director, Muhammed Musthafa & Others v/s The State of Kerala, Represented by Its Secretary to Government, Industries Department, Thiruvananthapuram & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- KERALA STATE INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT CORPN LTD [Active] CIN = U45309KL1961SGC001937

Company & Directors' Information:- V S L STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109KA2003PLC058185

Company & Directors' Information:- H M STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106PB1999PLC022707

Company & Directors' Information:- D S R M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310TZ2005PTC012353

Company & Directors' Information:- PARAGON STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109TZ1983PTC001276

Company & Directors' Information:- P D P STEELS LTD [Active] CIN = U65921WB1996PLC077555

Company & Directors' Information:- S D S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51420TN2006PTC060563

Company & Directors' Information:- PARAGON INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U65910UP1995PLC018072

Company & Directors' Information:- R K K R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27101TN1965PTC006069

Company & Directors' Information:- V. K. INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100MH2004PLC149538

Company & Directors' Information:- O P STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109DL1987PTC027085

Company & Directors' Information:- R K INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U29300PB1996PLC017836

Company & Directors' Information:- V T INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74990TN2010PLC078041

Company & Directors' Information:- H R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC070914

Company & Directors' Information:- B G STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1991PTC042560

Company & Directors' Information:- N G A STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109TZ1995PTC005908

Company & Directors' Information:- C V S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29253DL2009PTC189824

Company & Directors' Information:- P P S STEELS KERALA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27104KL2002PTC015717

Company & Directors' Information:- P P S. STEELS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106TZ2002PTC010188

Company & Directors' Information:- J P STEELS LTD [Active] CIN = U27107AS1992PLC003736

Company & Directors' Information:- K P STEELS LIMITED [Liquidated] CIN = U27109TG1986PLC006878

Company & Directors' Information:- P L STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109UR2004PTC000445

Company & Directors' Information:- Z V STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909MH1997PTC109791

Company & Directors' Information:- M Q STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1997PTC089231

Company & Directors' Information:- N. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106GJ2009PTC056732

Company & Directors' Information:- C I C STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109WB1988PTC045251

Company & Directors' Information:- M J R STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U74999WB1996PTC076803

Company & Directors' Information:- H S M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100TG2010PTC067913

Company & Directors' Information:- D C STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106PB1990PLC010517

Company & Directors' Information:- G M K STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL2000PTC108623

Company & Directors' Information:- S I F STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310GJ1972PLC002137

Company & Directors' Information:- M U STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100DL2011PTC228818

Company & Directors' Information:- M P K STEELS I PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109AS2005PTC007674

Company & Directors' Information:- L M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U13209UP1980PTC005064

Company & Directors' Information:- S I STEELS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U52390PY2009PTC002285

Company & Directors' Information:- P M P STEELS LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U93090TN1994PLC026915

Company & Directors' Information:- B P INDUSTRIAL CORPN. PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U15312UP1973PTC087037

Company & Directors' Information:- M A STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109KL2002PTC015691

Company & Directors' Information:- M D STEELS PRIVATE LTD. [Active] CIN = U74899DL1987PTC029358

Company & Directors' Information:- PALAKKAD STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27106KL1992PTC006550

Company & Directors' Information:- D. I. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100MH2005PTC153442

Company & Directors' Information:- A B M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27101GJ1986PTC008391

Company & Directors' Information:- T & S STEELS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109KA2007PTC043617

Company & Directors' Information:- T G V STEELS LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27100TG1996PLC023224

Company & Directors' Information:- A TO Z STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC030735

Company & Directors' Information:- S K STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109WB1971PTC027999

Company & Directors' Information:- B. K. STEELS PVT. LTD. [Active] CIN = U27109WB1995PTC068343

Company & Directors' Information:- S M STEELS INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1974PTC007190

Company & Directors' Information:- I R C STEELS LTD [Active] CIN = U45208WB1966PLC024114

Company & Directors' Information:- G K M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27105DL2012PTC246243

Company & Directors' Information:- R B STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106AS1994PTC004200

Company & Directors' Information:- S. A. STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27106PB1985PTC006227

Company & Directors' Information:- A H STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC073017

Company & Directors' Information:- J K L STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27104DL1997PTC088424

Company & Directors' Information:- E D STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27310MH1975PTC018180

Company & Directors' Information:- P AND B STEELS INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106KL1995PLC008742

Company & Directors' Information:- V K STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27310HP1987PTC007712

Company & Directors' Information:- N E STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27104WB2002PTC116973

Company & Directors' Information:- U R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27100TG2008PTC060899

Company & Directors' Information:- A V A INDUSTRIAL CORPN PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U29191TZ1956PTC000261

Company & Directors' Information:- KERALA STEELS LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27105KL1975PLC002665

Company & Directors' Information:- H S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109PB1995PTC016111

Company & Directors' Information:- G S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC030339

Company & Directors' Information:- P M P STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109TZ1990PTC002882

Company & Directors' Information:- W S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27106PB1982PTC005084

Company & Directors' Information:- K M S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27310TZ1997PTC008161

Company & Directors' Information:- S T STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27106PB1990PTC010915

Company & Directors' Information:- K L STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1984PTC038783

Company & Directors' Information:- S S A P STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106DL1999PTC101645

Company & Directors' Information:- M F STEELS PVT. LTD [Active] CIN = U74899DL1971PTC005517

Company & Directors' Information:- R G STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109WB1987PTC042824

Company & Directors' Information:- C N STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27100GJ1994PTC022570

Company & Directors' Information:- K L STEELS P LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27109PB1984PTC005895

Company & Directors' Information:- S B STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1984PTC017414

Company & Directors' Information:- V I A STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109UP1993PTC015933

Company & Directors' Information:- K K STEELS INDIA PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109PB1990PTC010714

Company & Directors' Information:- D R J STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310PB2007PTC031003

Company & Directors' Information:- S R R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27105KL1998PTC012156

Company & Directors' Information:- M. G. STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74999DL1986PLC025140

Company & Directors' Information:- A B N STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27106OR1996PTC004473

Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15420MH1921PTC000947

Company & Directors' Information:- A Y STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74120UP2014PTC066079

Company & Directors' Information:- PARAGON DEVELOPMENT PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U70109WB1985PTC039173

Company & Directors' Information:- I D STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL2000PTC109048

Company & Directors' Information:- V R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1981PTC011447

Company & Directors' Information:- R D STEELS LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106PB1999PLC022934

Company & Directors' Information:- KERALA INDUSTRIAL CO LTD [Active] CIN = U15493KL1943PLC000560

Company & Directors' Information:- P S G STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109HR1984PTC018249

Company & Directors' Information:- N D STEELS LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U28111WB1989PLC047025

Company & Directors' Information:- K J STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27310GJ1981PTC004392

Company & Directors' Information:- V L STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27107WB2004PTC100815

Company & Directors' Information:- R K STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1985PTC020523

Company & Directors' Information:- S F STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51900WB2006PTC107234

Company & Directors' Information:- E R S STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27104KL1994PTC008341

Company & Directors' Information:- K K K STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27106PB1998PTC020961

Company & Directors' Information:- K. N. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27107WB2007PTC117868

Company & Directors' Information:- A AND A STEELS PVT LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27104CH1993PTC012992

Company & Directors' Information:- M G INDIA STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27104TN2005PTC056331

Company & Directors' Information:- D D INDUSTRIAL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U34102DL2006PTC156978

Company & Directors' Information:- N. J. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U27108DL1996PTC077190

Company & Directors' Information:- B M STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51102TN1976PTC007165

Company & Directors' Information:- R T STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109TG1982PTC003556

Company & Directors' Information:- L. R. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27106UP2002PTC026946

Company & Directors' Information:- R. S. A. STEELS (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51392DL2011PTC213878

Company & Directors' Information:- K S R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1992PTC049052

Company & Directors' Information:- S R STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27104PB1983PTC005586

Company & Directors' Information:- M B STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999MH1975PTC018595

Company & Directors' Information:- M R STEELS PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27108MH1980PTC022743

Company & Directors' Information:- N I STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27209UP1978PTC004654

Company & Directors' Information:- J M M D STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1989PTC035398

Company & Directors' Information:- B C S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27100PB2005PTC027831

Company & Directors' Information:- K. A. STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100PB2011PTC034822

Company & Directors' Information:- B K STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109PB1985PTC006128

Company & Directors' Information:- A K INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29130PN2014PTC151053

Company & Directors' Information:- A P R STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109DL2000PTC104579

Company & Directors' Information:- H A S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109DL2004PTC125908

Company & Directors' Information:- D N S STEELS PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28991DL2013PTC259964

Company & Directors' Information:- A Z STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U72100NL1993PTC003884

Company & Directors' Information:- A N STEELS PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U72100AS1993PTC003848

Company & Directors' Information:- INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999KA1938PLC000231

Company & Directors' Information:- THE INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U00804KA1948PLC000529

    WP(C). Nos. 41275 of 2018 (H) & 4576 of 2019 (V)

    Decided On, 29 October 2019

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE N. NAGARESH

    For the Appearing Parties: M.P. Ashok Kumar, P.C. Gopinath. Bindu Sreedhar, R.S. Manjula, T. Naveen SC, N.B. Sunil Nath, Govt. Pleader, Rajan Vishnuraj, V. Harish, N. Asif, Advocates.



Judgment Text

1. W.P.(C) No.41275/2018 has been filed by two industrial companies seeking to set aside Exts.P3 and P4 integrated consent issued by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board to the extent they restrain operation of furnace of the industrial units from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. W.P.(C) No.4576/2019 has been filed by two permanent residents of Kanjikode in Palakkad District challenging Exts.P40 and P41 integrated consents issued to the petitioners in W.P.(C) No.41275/2018 in its entirety. Since both these writ petitions relate to the alleged pollution caused by the petitioner companies in W.P.(C) No.41275/2018, they are being heard and disposed of together. Parties are referred to in this judgment, as they are arrayed in W.P.(C) No.41275/2018, for convenience.

2. The facts revealed from the pleadings show that M/s. Paragon Steels Private Limited and M/s. S.M.M Steel Re-Rolling Mills Private Limited, the petitioners in W.P.(C) No.41275/2018, are running steel re-rolling mills in the Industrial Development Area, Kanjikode in Palakkad District. The units were established in the year 1995 and 1996. Those units were originally run by one Mr. M. Paramasivam. Consequent to a resolution plan approved by the Company Law Tribunal under Section 31 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, the units have now come under the ownership of the petitioners in W.P.(C) No.41275/2018.

3. The petitioner companies state that these units situate in an Industrial Development Area which originally housed 40 different industrial units. On account of various adverse circumstances, 25 units have been closed and at present, only 15 units including two of the petitioners, are functioning. Each unit is liable to remit a minimum electricity charge of ?20,00,000/- to KSEB every month. The electricitytariff during peak hours (6 a.m. to 10 p.m.) is ?8.25 and duringoff peak time (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.), it is ?4.125. The units arefunctioning under the monitoring of the Pollution Control Board. The Pollution Control Board has issued Exts.P3 and P4 renewal of integrated consent to operate, on 27.11.2018. However, in those consents, a condition has been stipulated that operation of furnace as well as loading and unloading activities shall not be carried out during night time (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.). Petitioners state that they are not doing any loading or unloading activities during night time. However, the condition in the integrated consent restraining functioning of the factory during night time not only causes huge financial burden on the units towards energy charges but also discriminates the industrial units. The units are located in an approved Industrial Development Area and pollution norms relating to industrial areas should be made applicable to the units. Petitioners, therefore, pray that Exts.P3 and P4 integrated consents be set aside to the extent they restrain the operation of the furnace of the units, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

4. W.P.(C) No.4576/2019 has been filed by additional 3rd and 4th respondents in W.P.(C) No.41275/2018. Additional 3rd and 4th respondents state that they are permanent residents of Kanjikode. Additional 3rd respondent owns 15.75 cents of land and it shares the boundary of the industrial unit of the 1st petitioner. Additional 4th respondent owns 7 cents of land where he resides and the said house is hardly at a distance of 30 meters from the two units. They state that the two industrial units of the petitioners have been established in violation of the distance criteria and the industries are causing heavy air and sound pollution. The units are engaged in production of steel ingots. Shredded steel scrap and sponge iron are used as raw materials. The process involves shelting of the said raw materials. Unloading of the scrap and tearing down the same by the units, cause loud and unbearable noise pollution in the locality and such scrap is unloaded during night hours. The pollution control measures installed in the units are not working properly. Due to the pollution, the members of the families of additional 3rd and 4th respondents suffer from various respiration ailments. Though the Environmental Engineer of the Pollution Control Board issued show cause notice to the units on 13.04.2016, no effective steps were taken to improve the air quality. Inspections conducted in 2016 found that online stack monitoring system was not functioning.

5. Additional respondents 3 and 4 further contend that no effective steps were seen taken to reduce the sound and air pollution and the pollution is still persisting. When renewal of the consent was refused by the Pollution Control Board, the units filed W.P.(C) Nos.6924/2017 and 7193/2017, and by Exts.P24 and P25 judgments, this Court directed the Pollution Control Board to examine the issue of pollution and take a decision in the matter. Pursuant to Exts.P24 and P25 judgments, the industrial units made some make shift arrangements and managed to obtain renewal of consent. Even thereafter, sound and air pollution continued to persist. They contended that issuance of Exts.P40 and P41 renewal of consent is improper, mala fide, ultra vires and per se illegal. They have an unbridled right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India to live in a clean environment. They have no alternate efficacious remedy. The conditions laid down in the impugned consent letters violate the provision of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000. The conditions prescribed by the Pollution Control Board are consistently violated. There is heavy emission of black smoke by the units. Scrap metal are still unloaded in a careless manner causing considerable noise pollution. The permission granted to the units to operate near the residence of the petitioners in W.P.(C) No.4576/2019 is in violation of the dictum laid down by this Court in Mumthas K.O. v. Steel and Industrial Forgings Ltd. & Others [W.P.(C) No.9289/2015]. The impugned renewal of consent letters, viz. Exts.P40 and P41, are therefore liable to be set aside and steps should be initiated to prosecute the industrial units for violating provisions of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

6. The Environmental Engineer, Kerala State Pollution Control Board, Palakkad, filed a report dated 16.01.2019 in W.P.(C) No.41275/2018. The report noted that the main pollutant from the industry is the emission of particulate matter (PM) from the furnace. The air pollution control devices installed in the unit to attain the emission standards, are gas cooler, primary bag filter, secondary bag filter, two-stage ventury scrubber, moisture separator and scrubbed water re-circulation system, which are in place. The emissions are released to the air through a chimney of 30 meters height. The Environmental Engineer noted that if all the air pollution control devices are operated satisfactorily, the air pollutants will be within the limits of emission standards. Water used for the scrubbing and cooling is completely re-circulated. The solid waste generated are moved from the unit regularly. The unit has installed TOD-type electricity meter exclusively for recording the electricity consumption of the air pollution control devices and it would ensure monitoring the functioning of the devices.

7. The Environmental Engineer noted that there are many residences around the unit within a distance of 100 meters. Complaints have been received from the residents. The main problem not solved by the units is frequent fugitive emission and noise created during the operation of furnace and while unloading steel scrap particularly at night hours. In order to alleviate the noise pollution, the Board instructed the units not to operate and unload scrap during night hours. However, the units never came up with a foolproof arrangement to avoid such pollution and they continued to operate at night time also, based on interim orders of this Court. The Environmental Engineer further stated that during the sound level monitoring conducted by the Board on 08.12.2017, it was found that the equivalent sound level obtained was Leqt = 61.8 dB(A). The instantaneous sound generated while unloading scraps was found in the range of 85-90 dB(A). The ambient air quality standards as per the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, during night time is 70 Leqt. limits in dB(A) in industrial area and 45 Leqt. limits in dB(A) in residential area. Since the particulate matter exceed ambient air quality standards, it was considered fit to restrict the time of operation of the units. The restriction is justified in the facts of the case.

8. The learned counsel for the petitioners contended that neither the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 nor the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 authorises the Pollution Control Board to order closure of a running industrial unit in an industrial area from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. As long as pollution parameters are within the permissible limits, there is no justification in the restriction. Such time-restrictions cannot be imposed for the further reason that the units in question are situated in an Industrial Development Area. The restrictive conditions offend Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. The Pollution Control Board has not conducted any study on the allegation of pollution resulting in health hazard and for that reason also, the night-time restriction is illegal, urged the learned counsel for the petitioners.

9. The counsel for additional respondents 3 and 4, who have filed W.P.(C) No.4576/2019, argued that applications of the petitioners for renewal of consent were rejected as per Exts.P38 and P39 in W.P.(C) No.4576/2019 and grant of consent subsequently is totally illegal and unwarranted. Additional respondents 3 and 4 and their families have a right to live in unpolluted environment, which has been violated offending Article 21 of the Constitution. Exts.P15 to P23, P33, P34 and P42 (in W.P.(C) No.4576/2019) would show that the petitioners are violating the conditions laid down by the Pollution Control Board. The petitioners continue to cause fugitive emissions from their units and are using contaminated scrap to manufacture steel ingots, in gross violation of the norms prescribed by the Pollution Control Board. Still, the Board has renewed their consent. The 2nd petitioner in W.P.(C) No.41275/2018 appears not to possess requisite certificate under the Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008. The petitioners are liable to be stopped from running their units for that reason also, contended the learned counsel for additional respondents 3 and 4.

10. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioners, learned Government Pleader representing the 1st respondent, the learned Standing Counsel for the Pollution Control Board and the learned counsel for additional respondents 3 and 4 / petitioners in W.P.(C) No.4576/2019.

11. The prime ground urged by the petitioners is that the Pollution Control Board has no authority to order closure of a running industrial unit during night time. Section 7 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 provides that no person carrying on any industry, operation or process shall discharge or emit or permit to be discharged or emitted any environmental pollutant in excess of such standards as may be prescribed. Environmental pollutant means any solid or gaseous substance present in such concentration as may be or tend to be injurious to health. The industrial units of the petitioners emit particulate matters (PM) from their furnace. The Central Government, in exercise of its powers under Sections 6 and 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, has framed Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000. The said Rules, 2000 prescribe different ambient air quality standards in respect of noise for day-time and night-time for different areas/zones. The report dated 16.01.2019 filed by the Environmental Engineer clearly states that observed value of sound level of the units during nights exceeded the permissible limits under the Rules, 2000. When the duly framed statutory rules prescribe different air quality standards for day-time and night-time, necessarily the Pollution Control Board, which is authorised to enforce the pollution control norms, has authority to direct that an industry not satisfying the air quality standards prescribed for the night-time, shall not function during night-time. The argument to the contrary, on behalf of the petitioners, is therefore only to be rejected.

12. Another argument of the petitioners is that since the industrial units in question are situated in an industrial area, parameters prescribed for residential areas cannot be thrust upon the petitioners. In the case on hand, the Environmental Engineer has reported that there are many residences around the units, within a distance of 100 meters and the nearest residence will be less than 10 meters distance. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 is intended to provide for the protection and improvement of environment and for the prevention of hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants and property. The Act and the Rules made thereunder, therefore, provide for separate parameters and norms for industrial and residential areas. Section 6(2)(a) and (b) of the Act, 1986 empowers the Central Government to make rules to regulate the standards of quality of air, water or soil for various areas and purposes and to prescribe the maximum allowable limits of concentration of various environmental pollutants including noise for different areas. What is sought to be achieved by the Act, 1986 and Rules, is to strive for and achieve certain minimised pollution levels in industrial, residential and other areas/zones. Therefore, no industrial unit can claim that it need to comply only with the parameters prescribed for industrial area, though the noise or emissions from the industry results in pollution of the nearby residential area violating the parameters prescribed for the residential area. An industry though functioning in an industrial area, cannot function in such a manner resulting in violation of pollution control norms and parameters prescribed for nearby residential areas.

13. The petitioners have not established with sufficient materials that other industrial units functioning in the Industrial Development Area and which are permitted to function at night, are also similarly situated and those units also violate norms and parameters in nearby residential area. The arguments of the petitioners based on Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) are therefore without any factual foundation. The contention of the petitioners on lack of study by the Pollution Control Board on the resultant health hazard, is also unsustainable. To pursue the statutory mandate under Section 3 of the Environmental Protection Act, the authorities have statutorily prescribed parameters and permissible pollution limits and there will be a statutory presumption that violation of pollution control parameters will result in health hazard. Separate studies on the actual health hazard caused by individual industrial units, are therefore unnecessary. Exts.P3 and P4, renewal of integrated consent to operate, issued by the Kerala State Pollution Control Board are therefore not liable to be interfered with and to that extent, the writ petition filed by the petitioners is liable to be dismissed.

14. As regards W.P.(C) No.4576/2019 filed by additional 3rd and 4th respondents, the argument that the industrial units do not satisfy the distance criteria, cannot be accepted since admittedly the units are functioning inside an approved Industrial Development Area. It is alleged that pollution control norms are being violated. The report filed by the Environmental Engineer indicates that the petitioners have installed air pollution control devices like gas cooler, primary bag filter, secondary bag filter, two-stage ventury scrubber, moisture separator and scrubbed water re-circulation system. The air pollution chimney installed is at 30 meters height. Water used for scrubbing and cooling is completely re-circulated. Solid waste is removed regularly. According to the Environmental Engineer, the TOD-type electricity meter installed exclusively for recording electricity consumption of air pollution devices will ensure continuous running of the devices, through monit

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oring by inspecting officials. 15. The sound level obtained from the units shows that the sound level exceeded the limits prescribed for night-time for residential areas. It is for the said reason that the integrated consent issued to the units imposes restrictions to night-time operations. Taking into account all the above facts, there is no reason to hold that the units create air or sound pollution beyond the permissible limits. Additional respondents 3 and 4 have a case that the units consistently violate the conditions even now. If these units still violate the conditions, it will be open to additional respondents 3 and 4 to bring the same to the notice to the Pollution Control Board. There is no reason to believe that the Board will not act, if such violations are noticed. For the aforesaid reasons, Exts.P40 and P41 integrated consents in W.P.(C) No.4576/2019 are not liable to be interfered with. 16. The petitioners face a genuine issue inasmuch as the night-time power tariff is almost fifty percent less than the day-time tariff and the night-time restriction imposed by the Pollution Control Board will not only adversely affect productivity but also financial viability, if not profitability. Therefore, if the petitioners take necessary steps to bring down the sound pollution caused by their units within the parameters prescribed and thereafter make applications to lift the restriction, the 2nd respondent shall consider such applications, in accordance with law. The 2nd respondent also shall look into the complaints, if any, made by additional respondents 3 and 4, regarding persistent violation of conditions in the integrated consent issued by the Board and ensure that the units are functioning without violating the conditions. Writ petitions are disposed of with the above directions.
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