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Newsline-National | April 2016

Cotton under white category: Environ clearance

More than 30 industries that have zero-pollution load have been exempted from taking environmental clearance even as the Centre released a new four-colour classification scheme for industries based on their pollution potential. Under the new categorisation system, industries which pollute the most have been put in the red category while the moderately polluting units are classified orange. Industries that have a significantly low pollution load have been placed in the green category while those that operate without causing any pollution have been categorised as white.

Terming it a “landmark” decision which gives a fair picture of the industries, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the new system of re-categorisation is based on an elaborate scientific exercise.

The existing system was creating problems because it did not reflect the actual pollution caused by the various units. The Environment Ministry said that 60 industries, including sugar, thermal power plants, paints and others, which have a pollution index score of 60 and above, will be in the red category while 83 industries like coal washeries and automobile servicing, which have scores ranging between 41 and 59 will be in the orange category.

Similarly, industries like aluminium utensil manufacturing and dal and flour mills, which have a pollution index score of between 21 and 40, have been kept in the green category. A further 36 industries like air coolers and cotton and woollen hosiery, which have a pollution index score of up to 20, have been kept in the white category.

“The new category of white industries, which are practically non-polluting, will not require Environmental Clearance (EC) and Consent. That will help them get funds from lending institutions. The re-categorisation exercise was carried out over the last one year. This is a landmark decision to give a fair picture of the industries.

“Re-categorisation of industries based on their pollution load is a scientific exercise. The old system of categorisation was creating problems for many industries and was not reflecting the level of pollution caused by these. The new categories will remove this lacuna,” Javadekar said.

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