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MoEF to decide on lifting ban on Haldia in March after pollution assessment

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Jan 30, 2013

CPCB has assigned an independent agency to study pollution around the 26 industrial areas where the moratorium is still in operation.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests may take a decision in March on lifting the ban on expansion of 26 industrial areas across the country, including at Haldia and Asansol in West Bengal.

In 2009, the MoEF had imposed a moratorium on the expansion of units at Haldia when the industrial area scored over 70 on the comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI).

A Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report Interim assessment of CEPI- 2011 said that Haldia’s figure went up to 79.71.

The CPCB has assigned an independent agency to study pollution around the 26 industrial areas where the moratorium is still in operation. The study is underway and is expected to be submitted by March 15. “At that time, we can take a decision internally on whether pollution in those areas has really gone down or not,” P.B. Rastogi, a Director with the MoEF, said on the sidelines of The 61st Indian Foundry Congress here on Tuesday.

“If the CEPI figure is below 70 for a particular industrial area where the moratorium was imposed, it may be lifted. A total of 84 industrial areas had come under the original moratorium. We have lifted the ban from time to time in many areas so far,” he added.

The MoEF official said if pollution in these areas has not declined, the local authority or respective State Government would have to submit action plans for reducing it. Some State Governments of such ‘polluted’ industrial areas have already submitted action plans.

Rastogi said the current study was meant to cross-check the veracity of State Governments’ reports.

Published on January 30, 2013
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