Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has carried out comprehensive environmental assessment in 88 prominent /major industrial clusters based on the Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index (CEPI) criteria in 2009. Out of the 88 industrial clusters, 43 industrial clusters with CEPI score 70 and above were identified as critically polluted areas. This was stated by Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.
The Minister further stated that for restoration of environmental quality in the 43 critically polluted industrial clusters areas, State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs)/Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) have prepared Action Plans. These Action Plans highlighted the pollution caused by different sources (domestic as well as industrial) and remedial measure, i.e. action plan envisages to mitigate the pollution caused by these sources. These action plans were finalized in light of suggestions of Steering Committee comprising national level experts and an in-house committee comprising senior officers of CPCB. So far, 39 action plans have been finalized. The implementation of these action plans would lead to improvement environmental quality of the 43 critically polluted areas. She further stated that Financial assistance for establishment of common treatment facilities such as Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs), Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBMWTF) and Treatment Storage and Disposal Facilities (TSDFs) and expansion of the National Ambient Air and Water Monitoring networks are available under the existing schemes of Union Government.
The Minister further stated that the CEPI is linked to public health in terms of presence of toxins and their concentration, exceedence factors, impact of human health and level of exposures. Health impact Assessment /Health Survey of Critically Polluted Areas (CPA) will be carried out, the funds for which will be based on Polluter Pays Principle, she added.