Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has sought Union Government‘s intervention vis-à-vis recommendations of a CPCB-led taskforce on closure of all coal-based industries operating in Delhi-NCR for a fortnight from January 15 to contain air pollution during the upcoming ASEAN summit.
“While combating air pollution is important as it poses grave threat to human health, complying industrial units should not suffer because of administrative failure,” ASSOCHAM stated in a communication addressed to Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
“It being the last quarter (January-March) of the ongoing financial year, industry is required to meet production/sales targets committed to bankers/financial institutions and failure in doing so would cost them dearly,” said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM.
“Moreover, normalising operations would become very difficult if these industrial units are termed NPAs (non-performing assets), thus Government must consider withdrawing CPCB recommendations for benefit of industry,” said Mr Rawat.
“Industry is not solely responsible for air pollution as construction activity, road dust, vehicular pollution, waste burning and other such factors are majorly responsible for deteriorating air quality not just in Delhi-NCR but other urban centres across India,” he stated.
Expressing concern over proposed shut down of industrial activity, ASSOCHAM in its communication to the Union Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change said that it would not only result in financial loss but will lead to unemployment/loss of productivity.
“The decision would hit livelihood of lacs of labourers in Delhi-NCR thereby posing grave threats to industrial peace, law and order,” noted the chamber’s letter to Dr Harsh Vardhan.
Besides, if boilers/furnaces’ operations are immediately stopped, the industry would not be able to complete export orders on time which would not only make their survival difficult in wake of global competition but expose them to heavy penalties by foreign buyers.
Further, lot of industrial material which is in pipeline would completely go waste owing to its perishable nature and pose threat in terms of pollution, contamination and health hazards.