The Environment Ministry of India today lifted moratorium imposed on eight industrial clusters located in critically polluted areas in different parts of the country for considering projects for environmental clearance. Gujarat’s Junagadh is one of such clusters.
The Ministry, in view of the recommendations of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), lifted moratorium on the clusters Angul Talchar (Orissa), Faridabad and Panipat (Haryana), Gaziabad and Noida (UP), Indore (MP) and Junagadh (Gujarat) subject to certain conditions.
The moratorium had been imposed last year on consideration of projects for environmental clearance to be located in critically polluted areas identified by the CPCB.
Based on the initiation of implementation of action plans as reported by the respective State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and taking into account the recommendation of CPCB, the Ministry lifted the moratorium.
According to the conditions, the moratorium will be reimposed if the respective SPCBs, which will monitor the pollution levels in these areas on regular basis, find that the pollution levels are increasing.
The Ministry will support independent third party periodic monitoring on the implementation of action plans, to be approved by the CPCB and SPCBs. To oversee the implementation of the action plans, cluster-wise committees of various stakeholders will be formed.
Expert Appraisal Committees will take extra precaution during appraisal of projects to be located in the critically polluted industrial clusters and prescribe the requisite stringent safeguard measures so that environmental quality is not deteriorated further in these areas.