The fate of industrial projects worth over Rs 60,000 crore will be decided by an expert committee of the environment ministry at a two-day meeting beginning Wednesday.
The committee will take up 32 new proposals, including modernisation and expansion of steel, aluminium and cement plants belonging to the top-notch companies.
The proposed meeting is crucial, as Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh announced last week that green approvals would become stricter, as the ministry was trying to increase the rejection rate.
The list of projects includes those of Tata Steel, Hindalco, and Hindustan Zinc.
^ Tata Steel
^ Essar Steel
^ BMM Ispat
^ Siddhi Vinayak
Developers seeking approval of modernisation and expansion of steel and aluminium plants will have to meet strict environment parameters which include greenbelt development, protection of wild life in the area, and repairs of damage to houses due to blasting.
Sources familiar with the developments said the norms would require cement plants to recycle the dust collected by various pollution control devices. Besides, no solid waste would be generated from the cement plant. Solid waste generated from colony and sewage treatment plant would have to be segregated into biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. Biodegradable waste would have to be subjected to composting and non-biodegradable waste would be land filled at identified areas.
There were about 99 projects seeking environmental clearance in the year-ended March 31, 2010.
Analysts said for a greenfield steel plant, an investment of Rs 4,500 crore is required for every one million tonne capacity. In case of cement, it is Rs 450 crore. However, for expansion and modernisation of steel plants, the investments range between Rs 2,500 crore and 3,500 crore depending on the infrastructure and debottlenecking facility created by the developers.