Ministry fines 59 industrial facilities in polluted district

Ministry fines 59 industrial facilities in polluted district

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Ministry fines 59 industrial facilities in polluted district

Dilovası, a district of industry city Kocaeli, is known for its high pollution. DHA photo

The Environment Ministry has imposed 1.4 million Turkish Liras in fines on 59 industrial facilities operating in the northwestern province of Kocaeli’s Dilovası district for high levels of industrial pollution.

The high pollution levels have increased the illness and cancer rates in Dilovası to some of the highest anywhere in the country.

The Turkish Environment and Urban Planning Ministry executed an “environment monitoring and control” inquiry in 61 industrial facilities between the years 2006 and 2012, after which it levied 1.4 million liras in fines against 59 companies while ordering five facilities to shut their doors.

For decades, the town has been an industrial center as its geographical position is favorable for highway, sea and rail transportation. The town’s industrial development has been uncontrolled, leading to heavy pollution and spiraling rates of serious diseases and cancer, according to local residents.

In January, residents of Dilovası district staged protests after two young people died of cancer in the area. Residents have long complained about the high cancer rates in the zone, but officials have continuously denied that there is any cause for alarm.

Industrialization started in the 1960s in Dilovası. There are now five organized industrial regions, one industrial site, 193 industrial organizations and more than 20,000 employees in the region. The population of the town, through which the E-5 and TEM highways also pass, is about 45,000.