Shifting focus

Published: Friday 15 December 2000

the World Bank ( wb ) has decided to stop investing in common effluent treatment plants ( cetp s) in Gujarat. Instead, it will assist in adoption of cleaner production technologies that prevent industrial pollution at source. wb is the largest sponsor of cetp s in Gujarat. 'Inefficient' cetp s have, however, made the state a toxic hotspot.

"The bank has changed its focus towards pollution prevention, public disclosure of industrial pollution information and direct support to non-governmental organisations," said wb president James Wolfensohn recently. Environmentalists, who had been pressurising wb and the state government to invest in cleaner production technologies, are hopeful that decision will force the Gujarat government to toe wb 's line.

Wolfensohn, however, said Gujarat was not a 'focus state'. wb was, therefore, not planning any major financial package for future infrastructure development in the state.

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