The state government has decided to crack the whip on polluting industries.
The environment department has directed the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to conduct an audit of industries that flout pollution norms and shortlist the most polluting ones across sectors such as energy, coal, mining and chemicals.
“We won’t tolerate environmental degradation,” said Environment and Health Minister Suresh Shetty.
“There are systems in place that are not being strictly adhered to. But we don’t want to police them. Instead, we want to talk to them.”
Polluting industries will be given up to 40 days to improve their status.
“We will not issue closure notices in the first go. But if they do not mend their ways, severe action will be taken as provided by the law,” said Shetty.
The department has decided to rope in industry federations and associations from different areas such as Tarapur, Chandrapur, Palghar and MIDC to inform them about their erring members.
This is to ensure that the industrial bodies take
responsibility of their errant members.
In December 2009, the Ministry of Environment and Forest released the ‘Comprehensive Environmental Assessment of Industrial Clusters’ report that ranked Chandrapur as the fourth most polluted industrial belt in the country.
The Centre has put on hold all industrial expansion plans in Chandrapur and 42 worst polluted industrial clusters with regard to air, water and land pollution across the country.
In Maharashtra, six other clusters were among the 88 most-polluted belts.