The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham) is up in arms against the recommendations of a Central Pollution Control Board-led taskforce.

The CPCB-led taskforce had sought closure of all coal-based industries operating in Delhi-NCR for a fortnight from January 15 to contain air pollution during the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.

In a letter to the Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Harsh Vardhan, Assocham said: “The complying industrial units should not suffer because of the administrative failure to control air pollution. It is not appropriate to see the industry is solely responsible for air pollution as there are other factors as well which are causing air pollution in Delhi NCR region.”

According to Assocham, the industry is not solely responsible for air pollution as construction activity, road dust, vehicular pollution, waste burning and other such factors are majorly responsible for deteriorating air quality not just in Delhi-NCR but other urban centres across India.

The Assocham Secretary General, D S Rawat, said, “It being the last quarter (January-March) of the ongoing financial year, industry is required to meet production/sales targets committed to bankers/financial institutions and failure in doing so would cost them dearly.”

“Moreover, normalising operations would become very difficult if these industrial units are termed NPAs (non-performing assets). Thus, the Government must consider withdrawing CPCB recommendations for benefit of industry,” he added.

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