Industrialists raise concern over TTZ proposal

AGRA: Industrialists in Agra are up in arms against the () proposal to close over 400 “polluting industries” in and around the Taj city, which if implemented will render thousands of workers jobless.

The TTZ in its draft vision document has suggested closure of around 455 industries, categorised as “red and orange” in a bid to preserve the Taj. The draft, which is to be discussed with the special secretary, Industries, on Monday, has raised concerns of industrialists, who feel that it’s implementation would adversely impact the future of lakhs of people in the city.

Secretary of Agra Development Foundation (ADF), KC Jain said, “We are also concerned about the beauty of the monument but that doesn’t mean that industries have to be shut down, leaving lakhs of people jobless”.

He said that air pollution is the main contributor in affecting the colour of the Taj, but the vision document, prepared by Delhi’s School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) at the behest of the UP government, has suggested the closure of industries on the basis of total pollution index score comprising water, air and hazardous waste.

“The government should take a decision on the basis of air pollution score that comprises presence of air pollutants in the emission,” Jain said, adding that industries with a pollution score of 20 should not be permitted.

Referring to the Dr Manoranjan Hota Committee report, which clearly states that “Local or regional sources of pollution such as from vehicles, construction of roads and buildings, biomass and garbage burning, crematorium, etc, seem to be major contributors of pollution in respect to the air quality at Taj Mahal”, Jain said this is the issue that needs to be addressed.

This requires further source apportionment studies and detailed emission inventory within 15km radius of the Taj Mahal, he added.

The report was prepared by the expert Committee, headed by Dr Manoranjan Hota, appointed by the Environment Ministry on December 13, 2016.

Since the industrial sectors have not been found to be the major contributors of pollution of air quality, industries should not suffer on account of any restriction, said Jain.

Founder of Automobile Dealers Association, Dr Ranjana Bansal, who is also the member of ADF, said, “We also want Agra pollution free, but instead of closing industries, the government should provide alternate solutions to deal with it”. After all it’s a matter of bread and butter of the workers associated with industries.

She added that over 30K workers are attached with automobile industries alone.
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