Centre bans new industries in river floodplains

Projects in the Ganga river plains will however be exempted from the ban under the new guidelines.

Published: 19th February 2022 07:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2022 07:38 AM   |  A+A-

Yamuna river

Yamuna River (File photo| Parveen Negi, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Centre has decided to ban the establishment of industries in river floodplains, changing earlier guidelines that industrial sites shall maintain a distance of at least 0.5 km from floodplains or modified floodplains affected by the dams. However, projects in the Ganga river plains will be exempted from the ban under the new guidelines.

“Industries shall not be located within the river floodplains corresponding to one in 25 years flood, as certified by district magistrate concerned or state water resource department or any other officer authorised by the state government,” said the directive issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

The ministry has come up with new guidelines for industries located in close proximity to the river following deliberations in the ministry and incorporating suggestions from other ministries, including Jal Shakti. As per the guidelines, activities undertaken under the Namami Gange Programme such as construction, development, renovation of sewage treatment plants, bathing ghats, crematoria and toilets for pollution abatement of the River Ganga and its tributaries are not prohibited. Any development project taken up by the Ministry of Jal Shakti under the said programme is also exempted. 

The ministry’s last revised ‘environment guidelines for industries’ prescribed that industrial sites shall maintain a distance of at least 1/2 km from floodplain or modified floodplain affected by the dam in the upstream or by flood control systems. 

While issuing the new guidelines, the ministry cited a Supreme Court order of 2017 which stated that “till the demarcation of the floodplains and identification of permissible and non-permissible activities by the state government…100 meters from the edge of the river would be treated as no development/construction zone”.



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