State Excise and Non-Concentional Energy Minister Ganesh Naik, who is also the Thane Guardian minister, said the Thane-Belapur Industrial belt was set to become a chemical-free zone.
Speaking during the inauguration of Thane-Belapur road on Sunday, Naik said: Naik said, “As per the regulations now, no chemical industry can be set up in residential areas. The existing ones will be given an additional 0.5 FSI if they agree to shift.”
Around 2,300 large, medium and small scale industries in the belt employ more than a lakh people, with the annual turnover of the region more than Rs 10,000 crores.
Naik said: “It was in 1995 when I first became a minister that I had demanded closure of chemical companies in residential areas. I put forth the proposal again in 2004 and ensured that the law was passed.”
He added, “There are about 50 small and big polluting chemical companies in the region.”
“As the guardian minister of the region, I have taken up the issue with these companies and am trying to either have them shift or change to another business. I am also ensuring that no new chemical company comes up,” he added.
The belt was dominated by chemical companies initially, but over the years their numbers dwindled with companies like NOCIL and Herdillia shutting down and IT industries taking over, led by the Reliance groups.