SMEs in corridor must opt for eco-friendly production techniques

Written by Arun S | New Delhi, Aug 30 | Updated: Aug 31 2007, 05:06am hrs
The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project can be environmentally sustainable and cost-effective in the long run if the government encourages units coming up in the corridor to use cleaner production technologies (CPT) from their inception, according to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido).

The Unido, which has been working for CPT since early 1990s in India, also proposed tax incentives for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to help them invest in CPT as well as a voluntary cleaner production audit to be undertaken by the MSMEs.

The Unido, a United Nations body responsible for industrial development, also said it could help in MSMEs in the industrial corridor to form clusters, which can in turn help mobilising financial resources needed for purchasing environment friendly machinery.

Facilitating large scale industrial development is important, but it is often criticised for causing pollution, particularly when we are experiencing the effects of climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions. We are looking forward to working with the department of industrial promotion and policy (DIPP) and the Japanese government to help in MSME cluster development as well as for promotion and use of CPT within the DMIC, Philippe R Scholtes, representative and regional director for South Asia at UNIDO, told FE.

Pointing out MSMEs find it difficult adopt CPT due to shortage of funds and lack of information, Scholtes said, UNIDO can extend its assistance for easily accessible and affordable training on eco-friendly practices to DMIC units in sectors like food processing, leather and textiles by coordinating with its network of CPT experts in over 25 countries.

Shifting to CPT increases the efficiency of MSMEs as it eliminates or minimises wastes and emissions at their source itself, he said. These new technologies reduce the intake of fuel, power and other resources and also help in recycling of resources. CPT is good for the bottomline of the business too. It is different from the end of the pipe solutions, where one sets up a waste treatment plant at the end of discharge or setting up chimney cleaning, Scholtes said.

The 1,483 km-long DMIC passes through Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra and is divided into 6 industrial regions with a minimum area of 200 sq km each and 6 industrial areas with a minimum area of 100 sq km each, housing several MSMEs.

In Gujarat, the Unido already has a regional cleaner production centre. For instance, said Scholtes, there were several units at Ankleshwar in Gujarat with outdated equipment, which were polluting. The Unido helped them not only in finding the environmental friendly machinery and technology from a Canadian based company, but also help them in forming clusters to mobilising $22 million needed for its purchase.