Panipat and Ludhiana have earned the dubious distinction of being the fourth and sixth most polluted industrial zone in the country respectively, prompting the Union environment ministry to renew its ban on allowing new industries in both townships.
This grim fact has revealed in the latest report of the Central Pollution Control Board that evaluated air, land and water pollution in 47 critically polluted clusters across the country.
It found that Panipat, which falls in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Ludhiana, an emerging metropolis in Punjab, figure among seven worst industrial clusters which still have high levels of pollution despite implementation of environment management plan more than two years ago.
The Environment had imposed a moratorium over new industry in 47 clusters in 2010 on basis of Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) based on evaluating air, water and land pollution.The moratorium on most of the clusters was lifted within a year after the state governments assured of improving the environment.
"Our evaluation shows that the plans have more or less remained on paper," a senior pollution board official said.