Govt plans to permanently shut units flouting environment regulations

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Nagpur: A policy to permanently shut polluting industries which are repeat offenders is in the offing at the state government. Maharashtra’s minister of state for industries, mining and environment Pravin Pote-Patil said so far industries have been surviving despite flouting norms by shelling out monetary compensation. This will be put to an end soon.

“Often, if a unit is given a closure notice by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), corrective measures are taken only to flout rules later. In some cases, a bank guarantee (BG) is furnished. If there is a violation, the BG is forfeited and released after the industry mends it ways. However, the process of forfeiting and releasing of BG continues,” said Patil. He was talking to newpersons on the sidelines of a seminar on ease of doing business organized by Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA).

Now, the erring industries will be given six months to meet the norms. If they fail, steps will be taken to permanently shut down the unit rather than giving it a breather each time, said Patil. This is expected to act as a deterrent to erring industries.

The ministry has data on the erring industries. No harsh action will be taken against minor or first time offenders. But there is a list of units which have been repeatedly flouting the environment norms. Such units will now only get one last chance. A policy on this is being framed and is expected to be released in due course, said the minister. “It is expected that if action is taken against some industries, others will simply fall in line,” said Patil.

Answering a question over plans of the BJP regime to come up with an industry policy, he said already a number of steps have been taken towards ease of doing business. Instead of having an overall industrial policy, sector based policies will be released from time to time, he said. At present, the industrial policy of 2013 released during Congress-NCP rule is valid.

Earlier, while addressing industrialists at the VIA seminar, he said the government is keen on bringing ease of doing business. If there is non-cooperation from the officials, strict action will be taken against them. However, the industrialists should also give up the habit of going for short cuts. “Everybody wants to get the work done fast and is ready to grease palms for it. Fast services, however, should not come at the cost of rules,” he said.

The VIA meet was aimed at bridging the information gap on the amendments made under the government’s ease of doing business policy. Presentations were held by various departments such as industries, labour, pollution control and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) to throw light on the developments.

Source: Times of India

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