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Sunday, December 27, 2009

85% of industrial zones in INDIA severely polluted

Ankleshwar, Vapi Top Index: Govt Report

New Delhi: Coming just days after the world climate meet in Copenhagen, a government report released on Thursday said that more than 85% of the industrial zones in the country—75 out of 88—are severely polluted. 

    The report, a comprehensive environmental assessment of industrial clusters, said the worst performers on the pollution index are from Gujarat—Ankleshwar and Vapi—long known as having deepseated pollution management issues. Delhi, which is going to host the Commonwealth Games in October next year, and its surroundings have also some of the worst polluting zones in the country, according to the list in the report released by environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday. Ghaziabad takes the third rank in the list while the Najafgarh drain basin, which includes Okhla, Naraina, Anand Parvat and Wazirpur, comes in as the 11th worst. Noida (12) and Faridabad (18) are not too far behind. 
    Jairam said, "Expansion and new industries should be put on hold in the industrial zones that are critical (43 out of the 88) till pollution control actions are put in place. Many of these areas have reached their limits and the situation is not under control at the moment.'' The IIT-Delhi along with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the state pollution control boards prepared the report. It is the first such report prepared by the government using an index that measured land, air and water pollution emerging from these manufacturing hot zones. 
    Ten out of the 88 areas surveyed have reached alarming levels, the minister said, adding that he would want the CPCB and the state pollution control boards to come up with action plans for cleaning up the 43 
worst performers. He said he would approach the finance ministry to make provisions in the next Budget to start a clean-up fund for these zones. The action plans, the minister said, would be drawn up with financial and organizational support from the Centre. He pointed out that the assessment—the first step in a more scientific evaluation of the problem which will be conducted biennially—had not taken the public health impact into account. For this, the ministry has commissioned the Public Health Foundation of India to conduct a study connecting the pollution loads to public health dangers.


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