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The dedicated economic zones, with effluent treatment plants, will be established in the first quarter of the next financial year in coastal areas, Junior Federal Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Satyabrata Mookherjee, announced on 2 December. The southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, eastern West Bengal state and the western state of Maharashtra have been short-listed, he said, adding that a final decision would be taken in the next three months.

The parks will enable the chemical industry, currently growing at 12.5% annually, double the GDP, to be located far from residents of large cities, like Mumbai. The devastation caused by 1984’s explosion at a Bhopal chemical plant was made far worse because of its proximity to inhabitants. New Delhi authorities have faced recent riots over plans to relocate all of the capital’s polluting industries, without planning adequate relocation (see related story).

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