Green Belt Development
The green belt areas refer to those areas where there are planned open spaces, where no forms of development activities take place like as building of houses, factories, dams etc. These spaces are used only for growing trees and plants. All other spaces adjoining the green belt areas must conform to certain regulations and policies for any development activities.
In India, we do not have any exclusive green belt policy or green belt regulation, as available in other countries. However, on the basis of other environmental policies and Acts, we do have certain areas of land as green belts where no industrial and residential projects is encouraged. The Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) has taken up different initiatives and has always promoted integration of environmental issues in developmental projects.
We do have the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of developmental projects, issued in 1994 and then revised in 2006. The EIA has come up with a guided manual where building, construction, townships, industries and area development projects must conform to certain rules and regulations that do not hamper the ecological balance of the region.
Following are the key points of the manual which need to be followed by all industries before establishing their units in certain areas:
- No forest land shall be converted.
- No agricultural land shall be converted into industrial area
- Any industry established nearer to a green belt should be concealed from general sight.
- Land taken for development projects should provide space for appropriate waste water treatment.
- Treated waste water shall be used to raise green belt.
- The green belt between two adjoining large industries shall be one km.
- Space should be made available for storage of solid wastes so that these could be reused if required.
- Lay-out of a project must conform to the landscape of the area
- Planting of trees alongside of roads is mandatory.