Mumbai, Jan 18 (ANI): Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh commissioned HPCL's Euro-IV compliant oil refinery here on Sunday.
"The Prime Minister and the government of India is committed to introducing mandatory fuel efficiency standards measured in terms of 'kmpl', which is kilometres per litre, or in terms of CO2 emission which is what the European countries are looking towards," said Ramesh.
The Minister further said that Comprehensive Environmental Assessment was carried out in the country.
"The 88 industrial clusters were found critically polluted. Out of these 88 clusters, 8 are in Maharashtra including Tarapur and Chembur," he added.
He said the environment Ministry will not give clearance to any industry in these 88 clusters unless Action Plan is prepared and implemented to improve the environment in these areas. Drastic and tough measures are to be taken to save the environment.
Elaborating further, he said that environment and public health are inter-dependent.
"In a place like Bhatinda where there is a critically polluted industrial cluster, the number of Cancer patients is a very high. Where the environment is polluted beyond a certain level, it has caused health hazards for the inhabitants of the area. Although today in India, transport emission forms 7 to 8 per cent of the Green House Gases ( GHS) but keeping in view the rapid growth in transport sector, there is urgent need to provide clean fuel at affordable price, he added.
India has a target to implement Euro IV-compliant fuel in 13 major cities from April and upgrade the rest of the country's fuel standards to Euro-III from Euro-II specifications. State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) has spent Rupees 400 billion on the refinery's upgrade.
By bringing in tighter fuel criteria to improve air quality, India is set to leapfrog Asian rival China, which started using a Euro III-like norm for petrol from Jan. 1, with a Euro III diesel equivalent set to become a national mandate from June 2011. (ANI)