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New Delhi: The environment ministry is planning to rate industrial units based on how well they comply with green norms.

The government will categorize them under a three-colour scheme—red, orange and green —depending on their pollution potential.

“The idea is to incentivize industry which meets the pollution standards and performs better on the scale. Though these sectors (the 17 critically polluting industries, including cement, thermal power plants, distillery, sugar, paper and pulp, among others) will continue to remain in red category, those industries performing better will get higher rating and they can sell their products with star ratings showing that their product have met the prescribed green norms," said Shashi Shekhar, chairman of Central Pollution Control Board and a special secretary in the ministry. Shekhar is working out details for this scheme with state governments.

The ministry on Wednesday will hold talks with all State Pollution Control Boards to finalize the criteria for classification of industries. “Industry having a score above 60 will fall in the red category, score between 30-59 in orange category, 15 to 29 in green category," said environment minister Prakash Javadekar while speaking at a two-day conference of environment and forest ministers of state governments.

“We have decided to re-categorize industrial sector depending on their pollution potential. Earlier, the categorization was not reflecting this," he added.

The ministry is also doing away with the need to get renewal certification of industries regarding pollution every year. “We want to do away with it. We have suggested five-year renewal for red category, 10 years for orange and one-time certification for green," he said. The government, however, has been claiming that it would make the laws stringent to check industrial pollution.

The ministry said that the states have agreed to start issuing environment, forests and wildlife clearances online similar to a system adopted by the central government.

He, however, said that the ministry will consult all stakeholders in detail before moving ahead with recommendations regarding the review of the nation’s green laws as suggested by the T.S.R. Subramanian committee report.

“We have inputs from various stakeholders, including public, experts, state governments and a final decision to review laws will be based on inputs from all. It won’t be just on the basis of the TSR report. We are not in a hurry. Wider consultations will be held on TSR report," said Javadekar.

The environment minister said that the ministry will come out with rules for pollutants from construction activities in and around Delhi within next 15 days. “Suggestions from public will also be invited before implementing them within two months," said Javadekar.

He has also announced a meeting of environment ministers of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan along with Delhi’s municipal authorities on 13 April to decide on steps they can take to control rising air pollution.

The two-day conference of environment ministers was attended by 30 ministers and over 400 forest officials from across the country. The conference adopted more than 30 resolutions, including clearing the backlog of forest clearances by end of June, steps to constitute state, district and cluster-level committees as per Green India Mission guidelines within three months and identify landscapes based on bio-geophysical and socio-economic parameters.

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