MOST CITY dwellers are acutely aware of the growing problem of pollution. Now, action against this scourge seems to be heating up. Hyderabad's polluted Hussain Sagar lake may get a new lease of life with Rs 10 crore of Australian aid pumped in to clean it up. In Bombay, a World Bank-aided environmental survey is expected to produce an action plan for cleaning up the city. The Metropolitan Environment Improvement Programme is expected to cost a whopping Rs 1,200 crore to implement. In Delhi, which can be fashionably called the polluted hotspot of the country, Lt-Governor P K Dave has ordered that industries found by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee causing pollution will have their power supply cut off. His direction has been notified in the Delhi Gazette, but it remains to be seen if any action follows the hot words.
Not to be left out, environment minister Kamal Nath has also renewed his threat to identify and prosecute polluting industries that have not set up effluent treatment facilities. These deadlines have been much abused by industry and criticised by environmentalists for not being rigid enough. Deadlines have been shifted from end-1991 to the end of 1992 or 1993, depending upon the date of establishment of the unit. But the state pollution control boards had been directed to check if the industry had begun work on effluent treatment before extending the date. Now, Nath finds even this has not been done.
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