Union minister of environment and forests T R Baalu proudly proclaimed at a review meeting that the Charter on Corporate Responsibility for Environmental Protection (crep) is a huge hit, with almost 95 per cent of the targets being met. Industry representatives were, however, upset that contentious issues had been glossed over.
The fact is that four months past its release, crep is still facing teething troubles. Some problems pertain to the very content of the charter, which covers 17 highly polluting industries (see: Written off, April 30, 2003). For example, no amount has been fixed for the bank guarantee scheme that requires non-complying units to furnish a bond promising conformity.
Opposing the switchover from mercury cell to membrane cell technology, a chlor-alkali industry member claimed: "Close to 65 per cent plants operating in Europe are based on mercury technology." However, Chandra Bhushan, coordinator, Green Rating Project, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, pointed out: "European mills release less than 5 grammes (gm) of mercury, whereas their Indian counterparts discharge 200 gm."
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