The Environment ministry has slapped a ban on setting up any new industry in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Noida till an environment impact assessment of the existing industries is done.
The four have been declared the 11th, 3rd, 18th and 12th most-polluted cities in the country, respectively.
“No new industries can be opened in these areas till the respective governments prepare a plan to manage pollution emanating from these zones,” said a ministry official.
The ban is part of the national moratorium imposed by Environment and Forest minister Jairam Ramesh on 88 most-polluted industrial clusters, having a large number of small scale industries.
The ban would be lifted in August, if the state governments submit plans to manage pollution in these industrial clusters, the official added.
Ghaziabad stood third most-polluted industrial zone in the country courtesy its poor management of air and water pollution in industrial zones such as Mohan Nagar, Rajinder Nagar, Sahibabad, Pandav Nagar, Bulandhshahar Road and Amrit Nagar.
Based on comprehensive environmental pollution index of the Central Pollution Control Board, the ministry has categorized industrial areas of Anand Parvat, Nariana, Okhla and Wazirpur in Delhi as the 11th most polluted.
For Noida, which is 12th most polluted, no new industries would be allowed in its phase-I, II and III, Greater Noida Industrial Area, Surajpur Industrial and Chhaparaula.
At 18th rank, Faridabad will see a freeze on new industries in Sector 27, DLF phase-I and II, Hatin industrial area and industrial Model Township.
Last year the ministry had asked the Central Pollution Control Board and Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, to conduct a study of pollution from industries to identify critically polluted zones.
Pollution caused to water, air and noise was considered in the evaluation.
Ankleshwar and Vapi, both in Gujarat, were rated as first and second most polluted industrial clusters in India. The union minister had visited some of these areas to find the status of pollution management.
“Entire affluent system in Ankleshwar and Vapi had failed to tackle the load of the chemicals released,” Ramesh had said. The ministry considers the ban as a way to make industrial bodies more responsive to combating pollution.