The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), on Thursday released a study ranking environmental pollution in 88 industrial clusters across the country.
The study has evolved a comprehensive environment pollution index (CEPI) based on levels of water, land and air pollution with available data on water and air pollution, biodiversity conservation, land degradation, ecological damage and waste management to make the assessment. The CEPI would be measured once every two years.
The comprehensive environmental assessment of industrial clusters jointly conducted by IIT Delhi and the CPCB reports that pollution levels in 10 major industrial hubs has reached a ''very alarmingly high'' levels. The clusters include Ankleshwar and Vapi in Gujarat , Ghaziabad and Singrauli in Uttar Pradesh, Korba (Chhattisgarh), Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Ludhiana (Punjab), Vellore (Tamil Nadu), Bhiwadi (Rajasthan) and Angul Talcher (Orissa).
According to environment minister Jairam Ramesh, many of the areas had already exhausted their capacities and the government might put further approvals in the 10 polluted hotspots on hold till their environmental health was restored.
The top 10 have scored above 80 on a scale of 0-100 which measures the clusters on the basis of environmental sensitivity. The above 80 scores indicate high levels of metals and effluents discharge in the regions nearby.
The study lists 33 'critically' polluted industrial hubs that scored between 70 and 80 while at least 32 others scored between 60 and 70 and have be tagged as 'seriously' polluted clusters, while 10 in the 50-60 range have been placed in the 'warning zone' category.