Skip to main content

Ban on industrial activity reimposed on Vapi, continues for Ankaleshwar and Vatva. Ahmedabad is spared

By Our Representative
In a major setback to Gujarat’s efforts to overcome pollution in its environmentally critical regions, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India, has decided to re-impose ban on industrial activity on the industrial cluster of Vapi in South Gujarat, even as continuing with the ban imposed by it in 2010 on the industrial clusters of Ankaleshwar, also in South Gujarat, and Vatva, which is off Ahmedabad. The MoEF order, while re-imposing the ban on industrial activity on Vapi, has said that its Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI), as assessed this year, has failed to show any tendency towards implementing an action plan to end pollution.
At the same time, the MoEF declared it has lifted moratorium on industrial activity on Ahmedabad saying, “The evaluation of the CEPI score in 17 areas where moratorium is still in place indicates that the CEPI score in 10 areas namely Bhiwadi (Rajasthan), Dhanbad (Jharkhand), Manali (Tamilnadu), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Korba (Chhattisgarh), Asansole (West Bengal), Haldia (West Bengal), Howrah (West Bengal), Vishakapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Kanpur (UP) is below 80 and has shown a decreasing trend as compared to the CEPI score assessed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in 2011.”
Vapi, significantly, is not alone where the ban has been reimposed. The MoEF order identifies seven other industrial clusters of India which have failed to implement an action plan to implement pollution control measures after the ban was conditionally lifted two years ago. The revised CEPI scores, assessed in 2013, suggest that there are eight critically polluted areas, where pollution levels have begun to rise again, with Vapi topping with the highest CEPI of 85.31, followed by Ghaziabad (UP), 84.13, Singrauli (UP and MP) 83,24, Panipat (Haryana) 81.27, Jharsuguda (Odisha) 78.75, Patancheru-Bollaram (Andhra Pradesh) 76.05, and Ludhiana (Punjab) 75.72.
The MoEF order states, “The CEPI score indicates that even after a period of two-and-a-half years of implementation of action plans, there is no improvement in the environmental quality as is evident from the observed values of CEPI in 2013” in anyof these clusters. Here, “the CEPI score has shown an increasing trend as compared to 2011. In view of this situation, the moratorium is hereby re-imposed with immediate effect in respect of these eight areas till further orders”, it declares.
The order adds that the ban on industrial activity in Vatva (near Ahmedabad) and Ankaleshwar (in South Gujarat) would continue. These two Gujarat industrial clusters are part a list which contains five others – Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Pali (Rajasthan), Vellore (Tamil Nadu), Najafgarh Drain Basin (UT Delhi) and Jodhpur (Rajasthan) – “where the CEPI score is either above 80 or is above 70 and showing either increasing trend or no change as compared to values observed in 2011”, the order states.
The order further says, the moratorium was first imposed on January 13, 2010 up to August 31, 2010 “on consideration of projects for environmental clearance to be located in 43 critically polluted areas/ industrial clusters identified by Central Pollution Control Board. It was envisaged that during the period of moratorium, time bound action plans will be prepared by the respective state pollution control boards for improving the environmental quality in these industrial clusters / areas. The action plans so prepared would be finalized by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The period of moratorium was extended beyond August 31, 2010 from time to time.”
The order disallows any independent state government environment assessment and clearance of projects in the critically polluted areas. It says that even for projects of public interest, a prior approval would have to be needed from the MoEF. Such projects, which are normally under category B, require clearance from the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and they need not go the the MoEF for clearance. However, as for the critically polluted areas, all projects “are to be considered as category A projects” requiring MoEF clearance, hence “the reference to SEIAA and category B projects in this para is hereby deleted”.
However, the order states, “It has been decided to consider allowing the projects / activities of modernization of existing project or activity not resulting in increase in pollution load and physical infrastructure like highways, aerial ropeways, Common Effluent Treatment Plants and Common Solid Waste Management Facility in such areas.”
Even as deciding to lift the moratorium on 10 industrial areas, including Ahmedabad, the MoEF has put forward a few conditions:
· The concerned state pollution control board (SPCB) should ensure that any new project /activity or any expansion or modernization of existing project or activity or any change in product mix is in line with the overall approved action plan of the concerned CPA.
· The chairman, SPCB, should submit a quarterly report on the implementation of the action plan of each CPA to the CPCB be reviewed by it.
· Monitoring in CPAs should be carried out by the SPCB through a third party on an annual basis for computing CEPI. The monitoring should be done during December-February and the report sent to CPCB by April. CPCB, in turn, would submit its report to MoEF.
· Monitoring in CPAs should be got done by CPCB through a third party on biennial basis for computing CEPI and report submitted to MoEF for taking an appropriate view.
“If at any time it comes to the notice of CPCB that action plan in any CPA is not being implemented properly or the CEPI index in CPA is showing an increasing trend, it will immediately bring the factual pOSition to the notice of MoEF and MoEF would consider taking an appropriate view in the matter which may include re-imposition of moratorium”, the order warns.

Industry protests the MoEF order

In a sharp reaction, the Ankaleshwar Industries Association president Vipul V Gajera called an urgent meeting of industrialists of Central Gujarat "in connection with extension of moratorium on critically-polluted Industrial cluster category for Ankleshwar-Panoli-Jhagadia Industrial cluster based on result of recent sampling by MoEF team." The meeting was held to protest against the "extension of moratorium on critically polluted industrial cluster based on the result declared recently of sampling done by the team of CPCB/MoEF". It was jointed arranged with Laghu Udyog Bharti, Bharuch, Panoli and Jhagadia Industries Associations, and among the participants included BJP MPs Mansukh Vasava and Bharatsinh Parmar, and BJP MLAs Chhatrasinh Mori, Dushiantbhai Patel and Arunsinh Rana.

Comments

TRENDING

You promised 50 lakh houses, give us one: Ahmedabad migrant women's plea to Modi

Women display letters containing rakhi for PM    By Hirabhai Solanki, Bhartiben Dantani, Ramesh Shrivastav*  Poor labouring families, including seasonal or long-term migrants of nearly 15 squatter settlements -- working as construction and casual workers and petty vendors, providing cheap but critically important labour for Ahmedabad city, living under plastic sheetings -- have reminded the Gujarat and Central Governments about the promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of building 50 lakh dwellings, wherein every pavement dweller and homeless would be given a decent home by the end of 2022. Holding a meeting in Ahmedabad under the aegis of the Majur Adhikaar Manch, they also referred to the appeal of the Prime Minister to poor and labouring women, seeking his support as brother by sending rakhis to protect their humble basti dwellings and provide them with decent housing, which is secure for them and their families. So far, about 300 women have posted rakhis to the Prime Ministe

Kailash Satyarthi NGO floats new centre in Delhi to 'empower' underprivileged children

By Our Representative  A voluntary organisation linked with Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi-supported NGO has floated a unique children’s resource centre at Sanjay Camp, Chankyapuri, New Delhi, in order to facilitate in imparting remedial education, recreational training and holistic development of children of around 2,500 under-privileged slum-dwelling families. Virender Singh Kadian, MLA of Delhi Cantonment, inaugurated the centre, which is called Shaheed Kalu Bal Vikas Kendra. The resource centre is in memory of Kalu Kumar, who died at an young age serving and working towards the development of under-privileged children, said an NGO source. A firebrand activist, Kalu Kumar was trafficked from Bihar to the carpet manufacturing belt of Allahabad when he was six. He was rescued by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan at the age of 10. A bright student, Kalu he covered up the lost ground very quickly and grew up to become a leader fighting for the rights of other child slaves at Bal Ashram. In

A countdown to disaster: Breach in fly-ash bunds of Nagpur's thermal power plants

Fly-ash dyke, Koradi thermal power plant  By Dhwani Shah, Deepmala Patel*  Last month the residents of several villages of Nagpur district woke up to the nightmare of being inundated with fly-ash. Located in the north of Nagpur city are Koradi and Khaparkheda thermal power stations which have their ash dykes in the vicinity. On July 10, 2022 at 3 am, the ash dyke of the Khaparkheda thermal power station broke, leading to ash contaminating the Kanhan river. Though the authorities claimed to have acted quickly and the fly ash dumping in the river was stopped, the claim stood to be misleading and false. Even today, the Kanhan river continues to be polluted with fly-ash, and the water supply to the city is affected. Not only did ash dyke of the Khaparkheda power station break, on July 16, 2022, the ash bund of the Koradi thermal power plant also broke. Fly-ash and water stored in the dyke gushed downstream to six villages -- drowning houses, water bodies and farmlands. With such large-

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Multi-crore NRC updation scam? Awaited: Assam media's self-cleaning mechanism

By Nava Thakuria  If some editor-journalists are allegedly involved in a financial scam, shouldn't the people get an opportunity to identify them? As the mainstream newspapers and news channels of Assam are avoiding the issue in their coverage, how come the actual picture will come to the public domain? If the mainstream media outlets intentionally kill the news, reasons best known to the editors, should the social media users take a lead? By now a number of senior journalists (with experience in print journalism for many decades) have highlighted the issue in social media. Their message is loud and clear- identify the corrupt television journalists who grabbed a huge amount of money which is actually meant for thousands of Assamese professionals. It all began when a second first information report (FIR) was filed by the outgoing State coordinator of National Register of Citizens (NRC) against his predecessor alleging corruption and money laundering while updating the 1951 NRC in A

US rights groups claim 'continued violation' of basic freedoms in J&K since August 2019

By Our Representative  Top US-based non-profit, Human Rights Watch (HRW), headquartered in New York, and the Washington DC-based Indian diaspora group, Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), recalling the abrogation of Article 370 three years ago, have taken strong exception to "continued restrictions" on free expression, peaceful assembly, and other basic rights in Jammu and Kashmir. Claiming that after revoking the region’s special autonomous status on August 5, 2019, the government’s “repressive policies and failure to investigate and prosecute alleged security force abuses have increased insecurity among Kashmiris”, in a statement, HRW said, “The government action was accompanied by serious rights violations including arbitrary detention of hundreds of people, a total communications blackout, and severe restrictions on freedom of movement and peaceful assembly.” It added, “Since then, the authorities have released many of the detainees and restored the internet, but have

Why global recession is 'big threat' to India, despite Nirmala Sitharaman’s bravado

By Prasanna Mohanty*  It would be imprudent to assume that a global recessionary trend will bypass India. In fact, a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman categorically ruled out the possibility of recession and stagflation (with high unemployment and high inflation India is technically witnessing stagflation) hitting India in her responses to the Parliament earlier in the week, Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam dropped a bomb shell. He released latest trade data showing fast deteriorating trends. The data showed, in July 2022, exports fell to five-month low of $35.2 billion and imports sequentially increased to $66 billion. The details revealed a fall in seven of top 10 export items: engineering goods, petroleum products, gems and jewellery, pharmaceuticals, readymade garments, cotton yarn and plastics. All this happened, Subrahmanyam acknowledged, due to the growing recessionary trends in developed countries and elevated commodity prices. The trade deficit (merchandise g

Bangladeshi women crossing borders: Demand to sensitise cops, BSF personnel

Counterview Desk  Bringing more instances of how the security personnel along the borders in West Bengal refuse to probe the human trafficking angle while arresting Bangladeshi women, human rights leader Kirity Roy has said, they are treated as accused in violation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Government of India and the Government of Bangladesh on Bilateral Cooperation for Preventing of Human Trafficking, especially trafficking in Women and Children. In a letter to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and national convenor, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), Hooghly, said, “The victims should be immediately repatriated to their own country and the criminal charges against them must be withdrawn at the earliest”, insisting, “The matters must be handled by the police or the BSF personnel with a human approach.” Text: I am writing this complaint regarding det

A tale of horror and fraud: Profits in trillions of dollars for vaccine manufacturers?

By Aruna Rodrigues*  John Leake is a best-selling and “experienced non-fiction, true crime author”. Having just read what must be described as an extraordinary ‘telling’ of the Covid-19 saga, his book “The Courage to Face Covid-19: Preventing Hospitalization and Death While Battling the Bio-Pharmaceutical Complex”, co-authored with Peter A McCullough, MD, MPH, is the narration of true crime on a scale that could top the list in the history of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. The book chronicles the unique role of national governments across the world and their health agencies, led by the USA and WHO, which followed an agenda that led to completely avoidable fatalities numbering several million. The question is why? The usual culprits are money and power. But to ascribe cause to these two is woefully insufficient. The sheer magnitude of the ‘dark agenda’ – coordinated and played out by governments, health agencies, the medical establishment (hospitals, doctors and chemists) and the massive a

Draft notification: MoEF&CC should 'critically protect' eco-sensitive Western Ghats

Counterview Desk  In a detailed representation to the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Shankar Sharma, power and climate policy analyst, commentin on the draft gazette notification of the MoEF&CC dated July 6, 2022 on the Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) of the Western Ghats (WGs), has said that the political class, having vested interests in Karnataka, has been opposing such a move for many years. Stating that there is no “rational basis to do so”, and stating that the opponents do not even seem to have even read the recommendations of Dr Kasturi Rangan committee report or the actual draft notification itself, Sharma underscores, the only aim of the vested interests, who have “unauthorisedly occupied massive pieces of forest lands”, to continue to do on in near. “These vested interests are continuing to be ignorant of the fact that Western Ghats not only harbour rich biodiversity of critical importance to our people, but also support