CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu pollution control board (TNPCB) has commenced monitoring the air quality after residents complained of a pungent order suspected to be due to Sulphur Dioxide leak from Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL).
Residents of Tiruvottiyur and Manali in Chennai city have been complaining of a pungent smell for the past few days and several healthy people had complained of breathlessness. Residents living in an area of 2-3 kms of CPCL have complained of pungent smell and breathlessness, particularly during the morning and evening times.
A senior officer with the TNPCB while speaking to IANS said, "We have received complaints from residents of Jyothi Nagar in Tiruvattiyor and in Manali areas. We are monitoring the air quality for the next 24 hours and will find out what exactly has happened."
The officer also said that a few days ago CPCL had imported Sulphur dioxide from Russia with high sulphur content and the PCB has directed CPCL not to further import that particular variety of crude oil.
CPCL officials, however, denied that there was any leak from the plant and a senior official told IANS that they are assisting the PCB officials in finding out the gas that has leaked. The official said, "If the leak was from our plant, our workers and officials would have felt it first."
The CPCL official also denied that there was no crude import with high sulphur content from Russia and that crude comes from Mumbai and the Middle East.
However, the PCB has directed the CPCL to install incinerators with Sulphur Recovery Units (SRUs). The pollution control board also directed CPCL that emission standards are complied with and to achieve Sulphur Recovery efficiency of 98.7 per cent at all times in compliance with the Union Environment Ministry notification of March 2008.