New Delhi: Industrial units dealing with hazardous chemicals should subscribe to a special insurance policy to cover liabilities likely to arise on account of any disaster or accident, failing which they will not be allowed to continue operations, the government today said.
The Environment Ministry issued directions on September 1 this year under sections of Water Act and Air Act to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ensure better implementation of Public Liability Insurance (PLI) Act, 1991.
The PLI Act 1991 makes it obligatory for the industries handling 179 types of chemicals and compounds and other flammable substances to subscribe to a special insurance policy to cover the liabilities likely to arise on account of any chemical (industrial) disaster or accident which is to paid to the affected people.
"CPCB, in turn, will issue directions to all the (State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) to ensure that Consent to Establish (CTE) or Consent to Operate (CTO) is not granted or renewed to any such industry which do not comply with the obligation under PLI Act, 1991," an Environment Ministry statement said.
It noted that there are many cases where owners or industries have failed to subscribe to PLI policies because of ignorance.
"The Environment Ministry has issued directions under section 18 (1) (a) of the Water Act and the Air Act to CPCB to ensure better implementation of PLI Act, 1991," the statement said.
The Act also establishes an Environment Relief Fund (ERF) which is subscribed to by all the industries by an amount equal to the annual premium amount of such insurance policies.
"The directions will ensure that all the liable handling user industries subscribe to the PLI insurance policy and deposit the prescribed amount in ERF," the statement said.
The CPCB will also direct the SPCBs and Pollution Control Centres (PCCs) to ensure that they "necessarily" include PLI insurance policy as one of the check points.
"SPCBs and PCCs will submit a compliance report to CPCB. The CPCB will submit the first compliance report within 60 days and the quarterly progress report till next three years to the central government thereafter," the statement said.