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Written By Gopal Krishna on Friday, December 25, 2009 | 11:34 PM
The Ministry and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on 24 December released a 32 page study that for the first time calculates a Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) for 88 key industrial clusters in India, using a series of objective criteria. Minister Jairam Ramesh, while releasing the report prepared by IIT Delhi, emphasized that the assessment must serve as a basis for enhanced and urgent action, especially in those clusters that are critically polluted.
In the Foreword to the study, Prof. S P Gautam, Chairman, CPCB wrote, "A Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI), which is a rational number to characterize
the environmental quality at a given location following the algorithm of source, pathway and
receptor have been developed. The index captures the various health dimensions of environment
including air, water and land. The present CEPI is intended to act as an early warning tool, which is handy to use. It can help in categorizing the industrial clusters/areas in terms of priority of planning needs for interventions. The process of evolution of method and mechanisms that yielded results are dynamic in nature. Improvements and alterations for enhancing more efﬁciency will be a continuous task."
He noted that the application of CEPI in 88 selected industrial clusters/areas has been an exercise involving Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Concerned State Pollution Control Boards/ Pollution Control Committees, and IIT Delhi. The effective implementation of the remedial action plan will help in pollution abatement and to restore the environmental quality of respective industrial clusters. The polluted industrial clusters/areas shall be further explored in order to deﬁne the spatial boundaries as well as the extent of eco-geological damages. The outcome shall be subjected to structured consultation with the stakeholders for determining comparative effectiveness of alternative plans and policies. The preparation of effective remedial action plan will yield desired results in terms of sustainable use of the carrying capacity of the respective industrial cluster/ area.
The analysis shows that there are 43 industrial areas/clusters out of the 88 are found to be critically polluted, with respect to one or more environmental component.