The Punjab Government is yet to formulate an action plan to control pollution in the industrial clusters of Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh,despite the Ministry of Environment and Forests identifying 43 critically polluted clusters across the country,two of which fell in Punjab,and asking states to take remedial steps.
Sources said a few meetings were held by officials of the state government after the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Indian Institute of Technology,New Delhi,carried out an environmental assessment of industrial clusters across the country based on comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI).
After the assessment of all 88 clusters,the ministry imposed temporary restrictions on consideration of developmental projects in such areas for a period of eight months up to August,during which both the central and state pollution boards were to finalise action plans for improvement of the environmental conditions.
Six departments were told to make their respective plans,the local bodies department was asked to improve the road infrastructure,lay sewage lines,upgrade sewerage treatment plants and traffic lights,improve public transport system,monitor air and water quality,implement compulsory rainwater harvesting and increase green cover in the cities and industrial areas, said an officer.
The transport department was directed to make a plan for effective traffic management,phase out old vehicles,shift to CNG,check pollution certificate of vehicles and implement Euro IV norms. The state police were also asked to improve traffic management and reduce traffic jams and other related problems.
Meanwhile,the forest department has been directed to increase the green cover,distribute saplings and formulate more projects around Ludhiana.
The industries department has been told to set up two treatment plans in a time-bound manner and monitor level of pollutants.
Punjab Secretary,Science and Technology,Viswajeet Khanna,said,We have sent reminders to all the departments to draw the action plan within 15 days and submit it to us. The final plan will be ready by June.