Sat, 25 Jan 2003

15 firms warned over pollution

SURAKARTA, Central Java: Authorities in Karanganyar, Central Java, warned 15 companies in the regency that they would face pollution charges unless they improved the management of their waste water.

"We are giving the 15 companies until this March to comply with the warning or face charges in court," Karanganyar Regent Tjipto Hartono said after the launch of the Vision 2005 clean river program in Palur on Friday.

He said the local administration has already given the companies several warnings, which they ignored, and that this was their last warning.

Asked about the pollution, Tjipto said the companies were dumping waste water directly into rivers in the regency because they did not have waste water treatment plants.

He said there had been numerous complaints about the pollution by people living along the rivers.

"The 15 companies have dumped waste into the Bengawan Solo River, the largest river flowing through the regency, the Sroyo River, the Pengok River and the Ngringo River," he said.

He said the pollution of the rivers had been confirmed by the local office of the Environmental Impact Management Agency, which monitored the companies' waste.

Tjipto said the local administration was determined to make the clean river program a success so that water from the rivers could be used by locals for numerous purposes by 2005. --Antara