Centre bans new industries in river floodplains, Ganga projects exempted- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided to ban the establishment of industries in river floodplains, changing earlier guidelines that industrial sites shall maintain at least 0.5 km distance from flood or modified floodplain affected by the dam. 

The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has come up with guidelines for siting industries that are in close proximity to the river said that the aspect related to siting of industries was deliberated in the Ministry, and suggestions were sought from different ministries including Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS).

The guidelines said that the activities undertaken under the Namami Gange Programme like construction, development, renovation of Sewage Treatment Plants, bathing ghats, crematoria, and toilets for pollution control abatement of river Ganga and its tributaries are not prohibited. It further said that any development project taken by the Ministry of Jal Shakti under the said program is also exempted from these guidelines. 

“Industries shall not be located within the river floodplain corresponding to one in 25 years flood, as certified by concerned district magistrate from state water resource department or any other officer authorized by the state government,” said the directive issued by the ministry.

According to the last revised “environment guidelines for industries” of the ministry with regard to siting of industries prescribed that industrial sites shall maintain at least 1/2 km, from flood or modified floodplain affected by the dam in the upstream or by flood control systems. 

“The National Green Tribunal (NGT) while considering restoration of measures to Yamuna and Ganga rivers dealt with the issue of floodplains and had said that it is necessary to call upon the authorities to demarcate the floodplain for the flood of once in 25 years and to prohibit any kind of development activity on the area in question,” the ministry said while issuing new guidelines. 

It also said that the court in another order observed: “till the demarcation of the floodplains and identification of permissible and non-permissible activities by the state government of this judgment, we direct that 100 meters from the edge of the river would be treated as no development/construction zone.”

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