Vivek Trivedi, DNA | Last Modified - Nov 05, 2011, 02:59 AM IST
Indore: Government's apathy towards saving Indore's environment may, ironically, soon bring the industrial growth in the city to a grinding halt. Despite a ban by the Union ministry on environmental clearance to industries in Indore, the state government remains non-committal towards taking any remedial measures to ameliorate city's 'critically' polluted environment.
Last year, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) had put a hold on environmental clearance for industries in Indore till October 2010. The decision was taken after the district scored 71 points on the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index prepared by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and was declared a critically polluted cluster. According to the standards, an area with more than 70 points on the 100-point scale is critically polluted.
Jolted by Union government's stern action, the MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) devised a `300-crore action plan in accordance with MoEF directives to improve the environment in the state's commercial capital. Following this development, the MoEF had relaxed the environmental clearance ban in March 2011 with certain riders.
The riders made it compulsory for both CPCB and MPPCB to establish a monitoring mechanism for regularly monitoring the pollution levels. However, seven months after this plan was formulated, it remains only on paper because of the slackness on behalf of the environmental watchdogs.
"We have presented the action plan before the CPCB officials twice in New Delhi. Officers from both the agencies have discussed its details," RK Jain, member secretary of the MPPCB said.
Jain admitted that till now no progress has been made, but assured that the plan would be uploaded online once the project is finalised. He claimed that environmental clearance was withdrawn from a few polluting units in Indore and they would be given clearance only after appropriate measures are taken to check emissions.
MPPCB regional officer AN Mishra refused to provide details on the matter stating he was on leave. Industrial pollution has remained a major concern in Madhya Pradesh, which is fast emerging as an industrial hub.
An RTI query revealed that 313 industrial units were polluting the environment. Incidentally, 170 such units were based in Indore, Ujjain and Dhar.