Special initiatives including afforestation, shifting to renewable energy for power requirements and usage of electric vehicles and bicycles for internal transport will be introduced in these industrial clusters
November 25, 2019. By News Bureau
In a bid to lower carbon footprint, special economic zones (SEZs) across Gujarat will be made more environment friendly. Special initiatives including afforestation, shifting to renewable energy for power requirements and usage of electric vehicles and bicycles for internal transport will be introduced in these industrial clusters.
As the first step towards launch of a special afforestation drive, 50,000 trees will be planted at Kandla Special Economic Zone (KASEZ) in Gandhidham, Kutch. This will be followed by similar drives across the 20-odd SEZs under operation in the state in a phased manner over next one year.
The total value of exports from these SEZs for 2018-19 was Rs 1.85 lakh crore.
“The concept of green SEZs has been supported by all the developers and units as well as the local trade associations. We plan to plant about a million trees in KASEZ, Gandhidham over a period of three months,” zonal development commissioner, KASEZ, Dr Amiya Chandra told.
“SEZs will now not only help in promoting exports but will also contribute in reducing country’s carbon footprints,” he added.
Amiya said that SEZ units’ owners have come together to fund sewerage treatment plant (STP). The treated water from the STPs will be utilized to nurture the land under afforestation.
Another aspect of the green initiative is to convince the SEZ developers and units to shift from thermal power to non-conventional solar and wind power.
“Non-conventional power has now become cheaper. So we are encouraging the industrial units in various SEZs to generate their own wind or solar power and reduce dependence on coal-based electricity. Talks with such non-conventional power generating companies are at advanced stage,” said Amiya.
Also, from January 1,2020, internal transport within the Kandla SEZ will be done using bicycles or electric vehicles.
“There are about 35,000 people working inside the Kandla SEZ. From January 1 next year, only vehicles transporting containers and goods will be allowed inside the Kandla SEZ, while all other private vehicles will have to parked outside the campus. People can either cycle down or use electric vehicle to move inside the campus,” said Amiya.
Similar notification will also be issued for other SEZs once proper infrastructure is in place, he added.
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