Zoning atlas for environmental siting of district Ghaziabad – A case study

Zoning atlas for environmental siting of district Ghaziabad – A case study

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Er. Prabhat Chaturvedi
Assistant Environmental Engineer & Project Co-ordinator (Zoning Atlas)
Environmental Planning Cell, Regional Office
Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Meerut.

For sustainable industrial development, the need of the hour is judicious, reasonable and planned use of the finite resources of land according to their natural environmental properties. To cater to this need, the preparation of Zoning Atlas for siting of industries, based on environmental considerations has been conceived. The Zoning Atlas is not only the solution for all the problems caused by haphazard industrial siting, but tackles the cause of the problem itself. The Zoning Atlas identifies suitable sites for siting of industries based on environmental considerations. The environmental parameters and conditions are evaluated and quantified and the suitability of sites is determined based on their sensitivity to air, water and land pollution. Economic development and industrialisation have become synonymous and are integral part of regional planning of a country. There is a need that apart from preventive measures, proper siting of industries / industrial estates should be done, especially in countries like India where the process of planned industrialisation is still in its initial stage. Thus, environmental planning is a proven tool for achieving sustainable development. Proper siting of newly planned industries & industrial estates is a strong pollution preventive instrument that ensures environmental soundness of the industrial development. Site selection based on environmental criteria with the objective of minimising adverse environmental impacts is, therefore, a vital prerequisite.

Since, the carrying capacity of the environment is not unlimited and some areas or ecosystems are more susceptible to adverse environmental impacts than others, the unplanned and haphazard location of industries might substantially increase the risk to the environment. Environmental planning is a proven tool for reducing the impacts from such risks. However, this tool has seldom been used in this country. Proper siting of newly planned industries and industrial estates is a strong pollution preventive instrument that ensures environmental soundness of the industrial development.

What is Zoning Atlas?
The Zoning Atlas for siting of industries, zones and classifies the environment in District Ghaziabad and presents the pollution receiving potential of various sites/zones in the District Ghaziabad and the possible alternate sites for industries through easy-to-read maps in the scale of 1:2,50,000. The methodology involves preparation of maps of various themes viz. characteristics of the District Ghaziabad, Air pollution, Water pollution etc. and uses of overlay procedure & GIS ( Geographical Information System ) for arriving at sites which are most suitable for industrial development. The scale for preparation of various maps is selected as 1:2,50,000 (1cm = 2.5km).

Objectives of Zoning Atlas
Zoning is a legalized and institutionalized form of land use management. It entails geographical delineation and classification of lands into several categories i.e. zones by a duely authorized regulatory agency with the effect that for each of the different zones their use is regulated. The objectives of preparing a Zoning Atlas for siting of industries are :

  • to zone and classify the environment in a District;
  • to identify locations for siting of industries; and
  • to identify industries suitable to the identified sites.

With an objective of promoting sustainable and planned development, the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board in consultation with Central Pollution Control Board – Delhi has prepared the first Zoning Atlas for Siting of Industries (based on environmental considerations) for District Ghaziabad, under pilot phase with the help of GIS. This document is now a public priced document, which is available with Central Pollution Control Board – Delhi, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board – Lucknow and the Environmental Planning Cell at Regional Office, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board – Meerut.

Benefits of the Zoning Atlas :
The Zoning Atlas, in addition to streamlining the decision-making process has several benefits some of which are briefed below:

  • Provides a ready-reckoner for best suitable site and relevant environmental information;
  • Makes decision-making process simpler, faster, realistic, transparent and reliable;
  • Provides a basis for incorporating environmental aspects into physical (land use) planning process that is lacking in the country;
  • Helps in planning cost-effective pollution control measures and programmes;
  • Helps an entrepreneur in readily finding out the location best suited to site an industry thereby saving time, efforts, investment and risk instead of heading for an unknown site, conducting environmental impact assessment and awaiting clearance by the regulatory authorities;
  • Helps develop infrastructure facilities, such as roads, water supply, electricity etc. and provide common waste treatment and disposal facilities;
  • Helps check additional pollution in the areas already over-stressed with pollution;
  • Ensures that pollution potential of an industry is made compatible with the local conditions of the site;
  • Ensures that an industry, with high pollution potential desiring to locate in a high risk area, will have to adopt clean technologies for manufacturing process so as to prevent generation of wastes/pollution thereby making it compatible with the receiving environment;
  • Helps in increasing awareness of the public on type of industries and nature of pollution anticipated in their neighbourhood well in advance; and
  • Helps achieve sustainable development.

Study Area :
The District Ghaziabad (including Noida and Greater Noida now part of District Gautam Budh Nagar) covering an area of 2590 sq. Km lies between 28° 26′ and 28°54′ North latitudes and 77°12′ and 78°13′ East longitude. The shape of the District resembles an uprooted tree with its canopy being towards west and trunk towards east touching Ganga river. The District is located in the extreme western part of the Uttar Pradesh State and is bounded by District Meerut in the north, and in the south by District Bulandshar, River Ganga forms the natural boundary in the east, separating it from District Moradabad. River Yamuna forms the western boundary in parts.

Major activities involved in preparation of Zoning Atlas :
The major activities involved in preparation of the Zoning Atlas including use of GIS software are:

  • Collection of data, maps and information from secondary sources;
  • Preparation of base maps and various theme maps;
  • Survey of the district and monitoring of air, surface water and groundwater;
  • Discussion with various government officials;
  • Digitisation of the maps;
  • Presentation of the draft report and maps in front of state and district authorities;
  • Preparation of the draft report;
  • Review of the report, maps and recommendations; and
  • Preparation of the final report.

Maps prepared in the Zoning Atlas :
The maps prepared in the scale of 1:2,50,000 (1 cm = 2.5 km) included in the Zoning Atlas for District Ghaziabad are :

Characteristics of the District Ghaziabad Base map, village reference map, land use map, physiography map, agricultural use and capability map (including irrigation map showing canal system), wastelands map, drainage map and location of existing industries.

Unsuitable zones Sensitive zones map (including forests, national parks, sanctuaries, monuments, flood prone areas, prime agricultural lands, etc.)

Air pollution related maps Air quality map, air pollution sensitivity map, risks due to siting of air polluting industries

Surface water related maps Watersheds map, surface water use map, surface water quality map, surface water flow map, surface water pollution sensitivity map, risks due to siting of water polluting industries

Groundwater (GW) related maps Ground water use map, Ground water quality map, Ground water potential map, Ground water table map, infiltration rate map, Ground water pollution sensitivity map, Risks due to siting of Ground water polluting activities (disposal of effluents or solid/hazardous wastes on land).

Alternate sites/zones Industrial suitability map (showing possible alternate sites for various types of industries)

Findings & Conclusions :
The final Industrial Suitability map in the scale of 1:2,50,000, which shows the identified zones and areas suitable for Industrial estates / areas is enclosed.

Following five types of zones have been identified in District Ghaziabad :

ZONE-1 : Siting of any type of air and / or water polluting industries should not be allowed in these zones. Based on micro-level studies these zones may be considered for siting of industries with low air pollution potential and/or low water pollution potential (A3 and/or W3 category). These zones are located in the western, and eastern parts of the district and are falling partly in Ghaziabad, Dadri, and Garhmukteshwar.

ZONE-2 : Industries having high water pollution potential (W1 category ) and / or any type of air pollution potential (A1/A2/A3 category) should not be allowed in these zones. Based on micro level studies, siting of industries with very low air pollution potential (A3 category), and/or medium or low water pollution potential (W2/W3 category) may be considered. Only one very small zone, is in the district and is located near Muradnagar.

NE-3 : Industries having medium air pollution potential whose impact is not likely to exceed 2 km (A2 category) or industries having very low air pollution potential (A3 category) but not having any type of water pollution (W1/W2/W3 – W3 may be considered based on local conditions) may be considered for siting in these zones. Industries with high air pollution potential (A1 category) or high or medium water pollution potential (W2/W1 category) should not be allowed in these zones. These zones are in Modinagar, Dadri and Garhmukteshwar tehsils.

ZONE-4 : Industries having medium and / or low air pollution potential whose impact is not likely to exceed 2 km (A2 category and / or A3 category) and/or having medium or low water pollution potential (W2/W3 category) may be considered for siting in this zone. Industries with high air pollution potential (A1 category) or high water pollution potential (W1 category) should not be allowed in this zone. only one very very small zone is located in Modinagar tehsils.

ZONE-5 : Industries with any type of air pollution (A1/A2/A3 Category) and also not having any water pollution potential (W1/W2/W3) may be considered for siting in this zone. However, based on micro-level studies, siting of industries with very very low pollution potential (W3 categories) may also be considered. These are located in the Dadri and Garhmukteshwar tehsils.

Following sites has been identified for the development industrial estates area in District Ghaziabad:

  • SITE – 1: It is near Loni. It is suitable for siting only those industries which are having low air pollution potential and/or low water pollution potential (A3/W3 category)
  • SITE – 2: It is near kot on G.T. road. It is suitable for siting only those industries which are having high / medium / low air pollution potential and / or low water pollution potential (A1/A2/A3/W2/W3 category).

Now, there is a need of co-ordination between all the concerned government departments and the regulatory authorities & serious involvement of the entrepreneurs and the public so that the Zoning Atlas for District Ghaziabad can be effectively implemented for the planned & sustainable industrial development in District Ghaziabad including Noida and Greater Noida (part of District Gautam Budh Nagar). For Sustainable Industrial development of State; Govt. of Uttar Pradesh through the State Industrial Policy’1998 has committed that a Zoning Atlas shall be developed for the entire State so that the Industry can easily take the decisions regarding the location of the units and this will not only facilitate the issue of NOC’s and Consents by the Pollution Control Board, but also make the entire system transparent and free from exercise of discretion.