Delhi Industries to close down soon?
The title would seem like a scandalous statement, however, it might prove true too, given the slow pace of the Union government.
The master plan of Delhi, in 2007, had given three years time for the polluting industries under 99 categories to either shift, or close down their units within three years. To revisit the Delhi Master plan MPD 2021 which was released in Feb 2007, the notification issued then said – “Industries listed under prohibited category shall not be permitted to be set up in Delhi. The existing industrial units under prohibited category need to relocate themselves outside the Capital within a period of three years.”
Most of these units are located within 22 different Industrial hubs spread across Delhi. The deadline is getting over in the matter of a few days. Would almost 5000 Industries be disallowed to operate? Shut-down?
Ruchika Bhardwaj, an analyst with the leading consulting firm Certes Realty Ltd avers that “most Industrial consumers aren’t aware of the deadline. They might fall prey to the sudden awakening of the govt. machinery after the deadline elapses”.
It is understood that the Ministry of Urban development and other agencies have had several rounds of meetings to put together a plan. The unfortunate part being “too little, too late”. “It isn’t uncommon knowledge that these polluting industries is not likely to get protection from the courts too, in view of the pollution, the recent judgements and provisions under the MPD 2021” says Mahipal Jain, an Industrialist with a unit within Delhi.
“Delays in the implementation of the zonal plans under MPD 2021 is the only factor responsible” says Ajay Dabas of Certes. He mentioned that the government had moved the provisions to acquire almost 945 acres of land under three villages in North West Delhi, almost 5 years back. Had the Industrial area been ready, these Industries could have found solace. The MPD 2021 itself mentions that the zone ‘N’ under MPD 2021 is the most suitable for high density developments owing to the topography, as well as the cheaper availability of the lands.
Ruchika avers that “an amendment or Ordinance by the government, to amend or delay to the notification issued by the MuD could be the only factor to buy time for these Industries”. It may be recalled that the Delhi state government might not be the regulator in these matters. The DDA is the implementing agency for the decisions released by the Ministry of Urban development.
The categories of Industries which are likely to be affected by the closure orders, if and when they are released soon include gas compressors, acids, alkalis, animal and fish oils, abattoirs and animal blood processing, bitumen blowing, bone grist, bone meal stainless steel pricking, dry cell batteries, electric wires and cables, fatty acids, fungicides, cranes, hoists and lifts (excluding assembly), flexographic ink, fuel oils, illuminating oils and other oils such as synthetic oil, lubricants, foundries, glass furnace (more than 1 ton/day capacity), gases-carbon-disulphide, ultramarine blue, chlorine, hydrogen, sulphur dioxide, acetylene (other than LPG, medical, CNG and oxygen), limekilns, leather tanning and dyeing (raw hides/skins to semi finish), methanol, methylated spirit, mineral salts which involves, use of acids, manufacturing of diesel engines, generators except assembly, potteries/ refractories (using coal or furnace oil), pyridines, plasticisers manufacturing, polythene polymers including resins, phenol, rubber solution and thinner, saccharine, secondary zinc industry, smelting, sugar, khandsari and vegetable oil hydrogenated.
The moot question however remains – Why is the MuD delaying the zonal plans, and what more time would it take for Delhi to implement the provisions of the MPD 2021. Three years hence, time runneth over.