Gujarat’s golden corridor faces obstacle from NGT

By: |
October 30, 2020 5:00 AM

As per the guidelines of MoEF, if the final CEPI score is 70 or above, the region is critically polluted and if the score is between 70-60, the area is considered to be a severely polluted region.

It said the Punjab government had notified the time restrictions on bursting of fire crackers during Diwali, Gurpurab, Christmas and New Year by issuing public notice in various newspaper through the State Pollution Control Board.It said the Punjab government had notified the time restrictions on bursting of fire crackers during Diwali, Gurpurab, Christmas and New Year by issuing public notice in various newspaper through the State Pollution Control Board.

Production processes of nearly 1,000 units situated on Gujarat’s ‘golden corridor’ – Ahmedabad to Vapi belt are being hampered as these units have been put in the list of critically polluted units by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) recently.

Sources in the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) said that the units put under the critically polluted list will not be allowed to increase the production capacities beyond permitted limits. They would also be restricted to release effluent water till the further order of NGT, said the official.

Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has made a representation before the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) and said instead of putting entire clusters under the critically polluted list, NGT should put particular units as per the guidelines of Supreme Court of India.

“Apart from MoEF, we have made representation during the recent open house of GPCB. Due to the action of NGT, exports of chemical, dyes & intermediates, as well as pharma products, have been affected adversely,” says Yogesh Parikh, chairman of GCCI’s environment committee.

The units were put in the critically polluted list after GPCB’s Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) score calculations were not accepted by NGT, says Parikh adding that GCCI had approached the Supreme court against the NGT’s move and the apex court stayed the tribunal’s decision. Despite the Supreme court’s stay order, still, the units are under the critically polluted list, he lamented.

As per the guidelines of MoEF, if the final CEPI score is 70 or above, the region is critically polluted and if the score is between 70-60, the area is considered to be a severely polluted region. Of the total units put under critically polluted list, more than 70% are producing dyes & intermediates, around 20% are in the business of chemicals and nearly 10% are drug (pharmaceutical) manufacturers.

Parikh who is also an immediate past president of Gujarat Dyestuff Manufacturers Association (GDMA) claims that because of the NGT’s decision production of dyes and chemicals in Gujarat has gone down by nearly 30%. Already the sector is struggling due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic, he says adding that more than 3 lakh people are directly and indirectly employed with these units.

He further said that of these 1,000 units, nearly 70% are exporting their products across the globe. Due to ambiguity created due to the NGT’s order, exports too would go down considerably.

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