States asked to clean up

No permits in high-polluted areas  

 
By Sanjeev Kumar Kanchan
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015 | 02:50:09 AM

imageOn january 13, the Union environment ministry imposed restrictions on new industries in critically polluted areas. The ministry had assessed 88 industrial areas across the country and identified 43 as critically polluted. Projects to set up new industries or to expand the existing ones in these areas have been put on hold till August 2010, after which the ministry will review the situation.

The state pollution control boards (spcbs) have been asked to draw up a plan-of-action for these areas to reduce the pollution load.
   

Critically polluted areas, under the new pollution index (see ‘A measure of pollution’, Down To Earth, January 16-31, 2010), are those with a score of over 70. Project proposals in industrial areas that score between 60 and 70 will be reviewed by the ministry’s expert appraisal committees at the initial stage. The spcbs will assess the project’s pollution load before it is considered for environmental clearances.

The ministry has issued a circular for Vapi, Ankaleshwar and Panoli in Gujarat. Ankaleshwar and Vapi top the index, scoring 88. In these areas the spcb has been asked not to issue no objection certificates to new units or expansion projects till the effluent treatment plants there comply with standards.

“The plan of action will outline ways and means of reducing the pollution level. It could be technology upgrades, infrastructural changes or setting up effluent treatment plants. It has not been finalized yet. In fact I’m not sure of the funding source either,” said a central pollution control board official.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.