Ghaziabad named most polluting region
Sep 19 2013
Ghaziabad has been named the most polluting region of India, in a new report which sheds light on the industrial clusters responsible for a range of pollutants entering the atmosphere.
According to India's pollution watchdog, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the environment ministry will refuse to give the green light to any new industrial projects in the area, after an environment management plan launched in 2010 failed.
Although the majority of areas that were targeted managed to curb pollution, in eight of the 47 critically polluted clusters, pollution of air, land and water pollution was still acceptable, with Ghaziabad the worst offender, the Hindustan Times reported.
The ministry imposed the moratorium on the basis of the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI), which is a measure of air, water and land pollution, and in most of the clusters it was lifted within a year due to state governments assuring greener practices.
However, an investigation conducted between February and April this year found that pollution levels in some of the clusters have not changed, with Ghaziabad now worse than Vapi, which was named the most polluted industrial cluster in 2010.
A score of over 70 means that an industrial area is not only critically polluted, but in need of immediate remedial measures - Ghaziabad scored 85 on the scale of 1-100, compared to 84.5 for Vapi, the latter of which improved its 2010 score.
Another key offender was Panipat in Haryana, which had a CEPI score of more than 80, and the ministry has now withdrawn state government powers to make any decision in these clusters, while giving itself the power to allow technology to be upgraded to reduce environmental degradation.
The Hindustan Times reports a senior pollution board official as saying that the findings are an "indictment" of CPCB's functioning, as it failed to monitor the implementation of the plan.
He added: "Our evaluation shows the plans have more or less remained on paper," he added.
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