The industrial clusters based in Greater Kochi fall into the group of cities with high pollution levels, as per a study done by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in association with Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. The study had carried out an environmental assessment of industrial clusters across India, the results of which have been published online. Under the study, a comprehensive environmental pollution index (CEPI) was calculated to help prioritise planning needs to improve the quality of the environment in industrial clusters. Eighty-eight industrial areas were selected for the study and the cities were listed in the descending order of index score, which meant the top score went to the highest polluted city.
Kochi is at the 24 position in the list, with an index of 75.08. Cities such as Howrah, Navi Mumbai, Mangalore, Indore, Erode and Visakhapatnam have a lower index indicating less pollution levels than Kochi while Agra and Noida have higher index.
CEPI is calculated for air, water, and land considering four factors — pollutants, pathway, receptor and additional high risk element. When the total score is more than 60, pollution index is considered as critical in the respective environmental component.
In the case of Kochi, the condition of air and land environment falls under ‘severe’ category while that of water is ‘critical’. Seventy-five cities out of 88 have a score above 60. The Ministry of Environment and Forests had imposed restrictions on sanctioning new industries in clusters with CEPI score above 60.