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Sponge iron’s dirty growth

Sugandh Juneja

In the years to come, India’s expanding steel production will be largely driven by sponge iron. But its manufacturing process, based on coal, is highly polluting. The repercussions are already visible near sponge iron factories which have mushroomed in iron ore- and coal-rich areas. People are protesting loudly, and in some cases even violently, while the pollution control agencies look the other way. A Centre for Science and Environment study reveals how the sector is poorly regulated and underscores the need for an action plan to reduce their environmental impact. Sugandh Juneja reports on the status of the sponge iron industry and its challenges.
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