The iron and steel industry in India is struggling to meet environmental norms. While some plants and companies are making efforts to clean up their acts, the sector’s overall environmental performance is poor. It is using up enormous quantities of resources (land, water, energy, raw materials), polluting and not complying with even the weak environmental norms that exist today, and getting away doing all this because of our lax regulatory and monitoring capabilities.
This assessment of the iron and steel sector in India has emerged from a unique rating of the industry done by Centre for Science and Environment’s Green Rating Project (GRP). The ratings were released on Monday by the deputy chairpersonof the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and the union minister Jayanthi Natarajan.
As a whole, the sector received a mere 19 per cent marks and the One Leaf Award. This has to be compared to rating of the an equally polluting sector, cement sector, which in 2005 got 36 per cent and Three Leaves Award. It shows that this core sector, which includes the biggest and most powerful names in Indian industry, has a long way to go.
Of the 21, three companies scored over 35 per cent marks – and got the Three Leaves: they are Ispat Industries in Raigad district of Maharashtra, Essar Steel in Hazira and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited in Visakhapatnam. The Three Leaves Award represents ‘average’ performance under GRP. Tata Steel of Jamshedpur was at the fifth spot, while Jindal Steel and Power of Raigarh was at the ninth.