Picture for representational purpose only.
GANDHINAGAR: In a long-term measure to reduce air, water and land pollution in cities, the state government has proposed to shift polluting industries out of congested city limits. By amending provisions of the town planning act, the government aims to convert industrial zones within city limits to non-industrial areas.
All major cities of Gujarat witnessed a marked reduction in air, water and land pollution during the lockdown period. However, pollution levels have soared again after the government gradually eased provisions of the lockdown.
A top source in the government said that with city limits getting expanded, a large number of polluting and toxic industries have been operating right in the middle of cities, which adversely affects pollution control measures and overall public health. “Under the proposed amendment in the town planning act, the department aims to give lucrative incentives to polluting industries to shift outside cities. Availability of land in city limits will also help government agencies, as lesser expenditure will be incurred. These plots of land can also be used profitably for making affordable housing and commercial complexes in key areas,” the source said.
Sources added that the government intends not to permit any new industrial venture within city limits in a bid to control pollution. “Draft development plans will not have any polluting industry zone within city limits. Government is also considering the option and strategy to amend existing draft development plans to change industrial zones to non-industrial zones so that no new industry can stake claim for starting industry in cities as proposed in the original draft development plans.’’
Top officials in the urban development department, meanwhile, said, “The concept of Green Floor Space Index (GFSI) could be introduced shortly to incentivise energy-efficient projects and a mechanism will be evolved for availing benefits of silver, gold and platinum rated categories. This may help further in reducing pollution in all major cities of the state.”