KSPCB to grant online approval for 'red' industries soon

KSPCB to grant online approval for 'red' industries soon

KSPCB to grant online approval for 'red' industries soon

In a move that could improve the State’s ranking of ease of doing business, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) will launch an online approval for ‘Red’ category industries that would ensure transparency and speedy disposal of application seeking environmental clearances.

Karnataka now ranks ninth in the ease of doing business report prepared by the World Bank - just above Uttar Pradesh. Even States like Jharkhand and Odisha are ranked above the state with Gujaratat the top.

The initiative will be launched by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during the Invest Karnataka in the first week of February, board’s chairman Lakshmana told Deccan Herald. The board will issue both Consent for Establishment (CFE) and Consent for Operations (CFO) industries.

The board has sought the help of National Informatics Centre (NIC) to build a software application enabling the online issuance of CFE and CFO to industries at the click of a mouse instead of making visits to officials to get them.

Already, the board is giving online consent for establishment and operations of industries under the green and orange categories for the last one year. “There is a zero pendency in Green and Orange Category after going online,’’ he said.

Over 800 investment proposals cleared by the State government and falling under the Red category are pending approvals from the board for more than a year now. According to the rules, the KSPCB  should issue or reject CFE within 120 days from the date industries applied for it.

"Online clearance will help better monitoring, speedy disposal and bring in transparency,’’ he said as industries need to take permissions for CFO every year. The KSPCB is also in the process of re-categorising industries into Red, Orange, Green and White based on composite scoring of pollution index instead of the current practice of size of the investment. The pollution index include discharge of emissions and effluents and its impact on health.

Currently heavy industries fall in the Red, small industries in Green and the medium industries in Orange category. Consent fee payable to pollution control board is revised by excluding the investment on land and building from the total project cost.

Lakshmana said that the board will also upload all cases onto its website to ensure an effective monitoring. “Right now there is no proper tracking system of cases pending all over the State. Several cases in the past have been dismissed as our officials forgot and didn’t appear before the court even after several reminders,’’ he said adding that uploading details of cases online will also help to follow up and take them to a logical end.