Critically polluted areas to be assessed

New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) The environment ministry has assigned 20 senior officers to assess the ‘critically polluted areas’ across the country for effective implementation of pollution mitigation steps, an official statement said on Tuesday.

“The ministry has decided that 20 joint secretary or joint secretary level officers will undertake assessment and periodical review of critically polluted areas (CPAs) based on comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI) for effective implementation of the action plans to mitigate pollution,” the ministry said in a statement.

The officers have been directed to undertake field visits and review progress at least once every quarter in coordination with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and submit reports to the concerned authorities, it added.

“We have provided transparent processes, done away with the delays and enabled ease of doing business for responsible businesses. Now, our thrust will be on compliance,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

In 2009-10, an assessment conducted jointly by the CPCB and the Delhi-based Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in 88 prominent industrial clusters found 43 of them to be critically polluted areas, recording CEPI score of 70 or above.

Remedial action plans for these 43 CPAs were formulated which are currently in various stages of implementation.

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