The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has directed Everest Spices, which makes spices, to stop manufacturing activities at its old and new units in Vikhroli for failing to adhere to air pollution control norms.
The direction came after an MPCB team visited the factory’s manufacturing units in October and found several violations. According to MPCB officials, dust from spices were emitted from the factory due to lack of proper roof-top ventilation and torn bags in the grinding section.
The MPCB has also directed Tata Power and the assistant commissioner of S Ward to disconnect the electricity and water supply to these units.
Earlier, in March 2012, the board had directed the factory to stop manufacturing at its old unit and update its technology. However, the plant continued to operate with the outdated technology, said the MPCB order.
There were several violations found at the new unit as well. The waste water generated from the unit contaminated with spices was being directly discharged into the MCGM drain, according to MPCB officials.
“The order was issued mainly because of complaints of severe air pollution in the area surrounding the factory,” said R R Vasave, sub-regional officer, MPCB.
Officials from Everest Spices refused to comment.
Locals, however, alleged that the factory continued to function despite the order. “We have been complaining about the violations by the factory for the past two-and-a-half years. The factory authorities refuse to shut down the unit even after receiving the MPCB order. In fact, they work at night for which they don’t have permission,” said Sudhir Singh, an RTI activist, who has filed several complaints against the factory.
MPCB officials said they would visit the factory again to check if these allegations were true.