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Pollution index for India's industrial clusters

Dec 29, 2009

India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has come out with environmental pollution index that can help in categorising the industrial clusters in terms of priority of planning needs for interventions. The new report, Comprehensive Environmental Assessment of Industrial Clusters, highlights the need for enhanced and urgent action.

Comprehensive Environmental Assessment of Industrial Clusters

This report for the first time calculates a Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) for 88 key industrial clusters in India, using a series of objective criteria.

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Minister Jairam Ramesh, highlighted the effective implementation of the remedial action plan that will help in pollution abatement and to restore the environmental quality of respective industrial clusters.

The polluted industrial clusters/areas shall be further explored in order to define the spatial boundaries as well as the extent of eco-geological damages. The outcome shall be subjected to structured consultation with the stakeholders for determining comparative effectiveness of alternative plans and policies.

The preparation of effective remedial action plan will yield desired results in terms of sustainable use of the carrying capacity of the respective industrial cluster/ area.

It emphasised that the assessment must serve as a basis for enhanced and urgent action, especially in those clusters that are critically polluted.

The analysis shows that there are 43 industrial areas/clusters out of the 88 are found to be critically polluted, with respect to one or more environmental component.

It suggested that areas having aggregated CEPI scores of 70 and above should be considered as critically polluted industrial clusters/ areas, whereas the areas having CEPI between 60-70 should be considered as severely polluted areas and shall be kept under surveillance and pollution control measures should be efficiently implemented, whereas, the critically polluted industrial clusters/ areas need further detailed investigations in terms of the extent of damage and an formulation of appropriate remedial action plan.

To be noted that although efforts have been made to perfect the process of CEPI application to industrial clusters/ areas, there are still some aspects that need to be improved upon including, consistency in pollution monitoring data (parameters and frequency) available with the pollution control authorities; selection of sampling locations for the environmental monitoring; and collection of data on adverse impact on human population and other geo-ecological features due to industrial pollution.

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