Moratorium on Vapi, Ankleshwar projects apolitical: Ramesh

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 19:03

Navsari: Union Environment Minister
Jairam Ramesh today said decision of moratorium on new
projects in Vapi and Ankleshwar, which were among the 43
industrial hubs identified as "critically" polluted, was
apolitical.

"There is no politics. It is not I who is saying this. It
is the study by IIT that found that Vapi and Ankleshwar topped
in industrial pollution," Ramesh said.

"I had asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
to give list of the most polluted industrial clusters of the
country. CPCB approached IIT Delhi which conducted a study on
pollution level in industrial hubs," Ramesh told reporters
here when asked if the moratorium on new projects in Vapi and
Ankleshwar was a political decision.

Ramesh was here for the launch of Green Action for
National Dandi Heritage Initiative (GANDHI) Memorial Project.

"There is also no conspiracy (against Gujarat) but a
fact. The fact is that in our country Vapi and Ankleshwar are
top cities when it comes to industrial pollution," he said.

The Environment Ministry in January had imposed an
eight-month moratorium on new projects and expansion of
existing projects in 43 "critically polluted" industrial hubs.

According to the ministry, the aim was to give breathing
space to the industrial hubs where extent of damage have
outreached their capacity with respect to one or more
environment component.

The minister said since the moratorium on new and
expansion of the existing projects was imposed in January this
year, things have change in the two cities.

"I am happy to say that due to our pressure and action by
the state government there is some change in the situation in
Vapi, but there is no change in Ankleshwar," Ramesh said.
"I want that the action plan made to control pollution be
implemented in the two industrial clusters soon," Ramesh said.

He said he would be going to Ankleshwar to take stock of
the situation there.

In December last year, Ramesh had released a first of its
kind Comprehensive Environmental Assessment of Industrial
Clusters, covering 88 industrial hubs across the country.

It had said areas having aggregated Comprehensive
Environment Pollution Index (CEPI) scores of 70 and above
should be considered as "critically polluted".

The areas having CEPI between 60-70 should be considered
as severely polluted and should be kept under surveillance and
pollution control measures should be efficiently implemented,
it had said.

Based on this report, the environment Ministry in January
this year had imposed an eight-month moratorium.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 19:03

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