The Chandrapur industrial area is open for new factories as the Centre has lifted restrictions placed during the erstwhile UPA government.
The UPA government brought in the comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI) that prevented highly polluted industrial areas to house new industrial units. Chandrapur in the vicinity of Tadoba tiger reserve was one such area.
The Union Environment Ministry, through an office order issued on May 20, has now lifted the moratorium under the CEPI for the industrial cluster of Chandrapur, which includes Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation areas Chandrapur, Tadali, Ghuggus, Ballapur.
“This will enable new investments in the region, which was stalled for last more than five years,” says a statement from the ministry.
Lifting the CEPI moratorium is one of the key demands from the BJP-run Maharashtra whose Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar several times in recent months.
In January 2010, the CEPI moratorium was introduced in 43 industrial areas, whose score was more than 70, out of 100, in the pollution index. A year later, an expert panel recommended allowing new industrial licenses even in areas under the CEPI moratorium.
The moratorium was lifted later in a phased manner, based on the initiation of a series of pollution mitigation measures.
At present, the ban is in force in at least six critically polluted areas — Ankleshwar (in Maharashtra), Pali (Rajasthan), Vatva (Gujarat), Vellore (Tamil Nadu), Najafgarh Drain Basin (Delhi) and Jodhpur (Rajasthan).
The central and state pollution control boards have been asked to implement pollution abating measures in Chandrapur area.
In every two years, an independent agency will carry out a monitoring survey and report to the ministry for appropriate action.