Damned, eitherway

The closure of 25 polluting units in Gujarat on the orders of the High Court in early May and its subsequent fallout has caught the state government on the wrong foot. The 50-page order castigated the state government, Gujarat Pollution Control Board and the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation in carrying out their duties callously. And while the court pulled it up for being negligent, industry has run it down for failing to control pollution in the state.

Following the court's orders, the state government had announced that major policy changes could be expected by mid-June. A high level committee was constituted to formulate a comprehensive policy to check pollution. On its part, industry reacted by threatening a non-cooperation movement against the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation and also the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The petition against these units had been filed by 2 farmers whose fields were being adversely effected by water from the Sabarmati. Notices have also been pending against 675 other industrial units in Ahmedabad. Earlier, 68 industrial units in Vapi, which had been ordered shut by the court, had re-opened after each of them agreed to give an undertaking to initiate steps to prevent air and water pollution.