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Cement plants major polluters in state

With 12.06 million tonnes of cement being produced annually by four major plants in the state, the industry has become a major contributor of green house gas (GHG) emissions, according to the GHG inventory prepared by the Department of Environment.

The GHG emissions are measured in terms of emissions of various gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

With four more projects in the pipeline, including those at Sundernagar and Al Sindi in Mandi district, at Broh-Shind in Chamba district and at Chopal an additional 7.27 million tonnes of cement would be produced once they are commissioned.

According to this inventory cement plants produced 5,170.30 gigagrams of carbon dioxide, while the energy usage by industrial, commercial and institutional categories contributed 3183.27 gigagrams to the GHG.

As per this report, residential use of energy was merely 911.525 gigagrams, while the agriculture sector contributed a low 15.66 gigagrams.

Various modes of transportation, including roads, railways and aviation, also contributed little to carbon dioxide with barely 655.14, 0.0012 and 0.0011 gigagrams being their respective contributions.

Interestingly, various forestry related endeavours contributed a mere 2,987.38 gigagrams and this meant the gap between various commercial and industrial activities and the ability of forests to act as a sink, which could offset the negative effect of these gases that was widening.

Secretary Environment SS Negi said the state had chalked out a climate change policy and it had received a loan of $ 100 (US) from the World Bank to promote inclusive green growth in September last year.

The state was now binging about various changes in the existing policies so as to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change by bringing in better policies and practices for sustainable development, empowering local communities to conserve their watersheds, promote cleaning methods of industrial production and promote environmentally sustainable policies.

Apart from this, the state had also displayed its climate change policy and funds had been sought from the central government to implement this policy.

 

The Tribune (06-06-2013)