The moratorium has been extended several times and no new industry has seen the light of the day in last 2 years in the region. This moratorium has resulted in delay in implementation as well as cancellation of several projects in sectors such as power generation, mining, chemicals and petrochemicals and steel.
The case of Lote-Parshuram industrial area in Ratnagiri district which is severely affected is worth studying
- The Lote-Parshuram industrial area is a declared ‘chemical zone’ by MIDC about 30 years ago. The industries have been allotted land for chemical manufacturing & all their investments in terms expansion/new investments are on hold for last 2 years due to this moratorium.
- This has stagnated the employment generation, exports and growth of the region.
- Unfortunately, this is being done without considering if the individual project is polluting or non-polluting.
- It should be noted that the projects in industrial area are slightly different compared to green field projects such as steel, mining power etc. since all the environmental aspects were studied before this industrial areas were formed.
- The area is declared most backward by Government of Maharashtra and is under category D+. This encourages new investments by giving tax benefits to generate employment whereas such moratoriums are contradiction to the state policy.
- Lote-Parshuram industrial area falls in between Khed & Chiplun and there is no development in this region apart from Chemical industry in Lote which is source of direct & indirect income for people in the region.
- I see that there is a prejudice against chemical industry where it’s always held responsible for pollution. This is without understanding the fact that same chemical and petrochemical industry provides medicines, food related products, fuel and other day to day needs.
- The MIDC has already published the list of heavy polluting industries which are not allowed to come even to these chemicals zones like Lote. Then why stop other chemical factories which not necessarily pollute the environment?
- The Lote common effluent treatment plant (CETP) is not performing to the desired level for last few years. However, neither MOEF nor the committee has noted that the MIDC & MPCB in the region have taken strong actions against polluting industries and all the new investments have been allowed ONLY on the basis of “ZERO EFFLUENT DISCHARGE”.
- Further the CEPT of Lote is already undergoing expansion with funds from central government, MPCB & the local industry.