Relocating a problem

THE Delhi administration has decided to relocate 80,000 industrial units that were closed down for functioning in non-conforming areas following a 1996 Supreme Court order. The new site in west Delhi is to be developed on more than 1,820 hectares of land. So far, 51,000 units have applied for relocation.

The decision can lead to numerous environmental problems. One of the locations is close to a massive market of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which in itself is a huge environmental risk. As the new site will be close to the Narela sub-city (which is being planned to house an additional population of 14 lakh), the congestion in the city is expected to be very high, as the industrial units will employ at least six lakh workers. This would mean an additional population of 30 lakh. The Delhi administration is not clear about water and power supply. The administration plans to tap Delhi's major water supply, the Western Yamuna Canal, which runs close to the proposed site. The impact this will have on Delhi's acute water shortage problem is not known.

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