In a move that could put the industrial activity back on track and also help boost investment plans in the state, the stay on industrial expansion in three industrial clusters was finally lifted on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) lifted the moratorium imposed on three industrial clusters — Navi Mumbai, Dombivili and Auranagabad — which were identified as critically polluted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) last year.
The moratorium on the fourth one, Tarapur was lifted in October last year. In its report in 2009, the central pollution board had identified 88 most polluted areas, including seven clusters in Maharashtra. Of those 88, stay on industrial activity was placed on 43, which had a comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI) score of more than 70.
A media release from the MoEF said that moratorium was lifted on eight critically polluted clusters across the country, including three from Maharashtra, after the state government submitted action plans to deal with pollution.
“The moratorium had affected future investment plans and on the whole slowed down industrial activity. So this is good news, though we had not agreed with the CPCB’s identification of critically polluted clusters,’’ said a senior bureaucrat, on condition of anonymity.
The state government is currently putting in place action plan to reduce pollution at Chandrapur, which has mining, quarrying activity as well as power plants. It has already submitted action plans for reducing pollution in other three critically polluted areas —Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nasik and Chembur.
With regard to moratorium in other areas, action plans of 25 industrial clusters are being verified and revised plans are been awaited for the remaining five. “Third party monitoring of these plans will be done,” the note said.