The Central Pollution
Control Board (CPCB)was looking for new concepts and approaches for protecting
the environment while ensuring that the developmental targets are achieved
and conducted pilot studies on industrial siting based on environmental
planning in 1988. Having convinced of the outcome of the planning approach
for environmental protection, CPCB was awaiting an appropriate time for
introducing the technique. The situation for introducing spatial environmental"
planning matured by 1994, whereby the administration, the people, the
industry etc. were all looking for a solution that can play a significant
role in protecting the environment in a speedy and transparent manner
while being non-anti-developmental. CPCB established an Environmental
Planning Unit in 1995 and introduced an environmental (land use) planning
programme known as "Zoning
Atlas for siting of Industries"
sites/zones for industries based on environmental considerations. The
programme was extended to 14 States where teams were created to take up
the task. The technical support was sought from GTZ (German Agency for
Technical Cooperation) under the Indo-German Bilateral Programme. The
end of 1995 received the first results. The acceptance of the programme
by user agencies and the need for expansion of the programme was realised
by the end of 1996. The support from GTZ was limited and hence funds from
the World Bank were sought for the period April 1997 to June 2003, under
the Environmental Management Capacity Building Project and the intensified
' Zoning Atlas' programme was commenced.
The Tripura Pollution Control Board embarked on the Zoning Atlas for Siting
of Industries project in the year 1996 in collaboration with CPCB, Delhi.
In the first phase, the State of Tripura (all four Districts) was covered
under the programme and the Zoning Atlas was prepared for the State by
The Zoning Atlas study for Tripura has revealed a picture, where most
of the areas were found to be highly environmentally sensitive and hence
not suitable for siting of polluting industries. Also it was seen that
more than 60% of the State is under forests and includes environmentally
fragile eco-system viz. sanctuaries. Also, nearly two third of the State
is hilly posing constraints for development.
The State is also having
considerable population living below poverty line. The State is second
most poverty stricken in India. Due to its locational disadvantage and
lack of proper transportation/connectivity with other parts of the country,
the State could not attract industries. Due to lack of appropriate economic
activity, not even agriculture in some parts of the State is developed,
people have been resorting to shifting cultivation by destroying forests.
Also, the State has seen a spurt of insurgency.
Realising the need for sustainable development where in the social, economic
and environmental needs are harmonized, through appropriate planning of
land and its resources, the study on 'Regional Planning: Tripura' had
been taken up.
The experiences gained
from the Zoning Atlas studies were used in developing rational methods
and the regional planning study was taken up by the Central Pollution
Control Board and the Tripura State Pollution Control Board.