Ban on new projects in Faridabad, Panipat lifted

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has lifted the moratorium on setting up of new projects in Faridabad and Panipat two Haryana towns that were earlier categorised as critically polluted.

The Centre has decided to lift the ban based on the action plans prepared and implemented by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) and actions taken by various other agencies on the ground.

A HSPCB spokesman said that earlier a study conducted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) through IIT Delhi had found 43 industrial clusters across the country, including Faridabad and Panipat, as critically polluted. Based on the study the Centre had banned setting up of new projects here.

Later, apart from the ban, several programmes were implemented in the two towns to bring the pollution under control.

The spokesman said that now HSPCB has also changed the procedure for grant of consent to establish and operate an industry.

The Board would now grant consent for two years to the Red category (highly polluting), three years to Orange category (moderately polluting) and five years to Green category (less polluting) industries.

It will also ask all the polluting units (except those in the Green categories and small scale Orange category industries having investment cost up to Rs 1 crore) to submit a performance guarantee to compliance of pollution norms.

The board has now begun taking closure action against the polluting industrial units and has in the year 2011-12, closed 286 units and filed prosecution cases against 30 others in the Special Environment Court.

The spokesperson said that pollution in River Yamuna is under check. Despite industrialisation, the pollution levels in air and water have not increased. Most of the industries located in Yamuna area have already installed effluent treatment plants.

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