Union Government re-classified industries on four-colour scheme based on pollution potential

Mar 8, 2016 15:09 IST

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on 5 March 2016 released the list of re-classified industries based on pollution levels.

The new four-colour scheme was announced as per the resolution adopted at the two-day State Environment and Forest Ministers' Conference in April 2015.

The re-classification of industries is based on the Pollution Index (PI) scores and the new categories are as follows –

Industry Category

PI Score

No. of industries covered


60 and Above



41 to 59



21 to 40



Up to 20


Salient features of the four-colour scheme

• The purpose of the categorization is to ensure that the industry is established in a manner which is consistent with the environmental objectives.

• The new criteria will prompt industrial sectors willing to adopt cleaner technologies, ultimately resulting in generation of fewer pollutants.

• Due importance was given to relative pollution potential of the industrial sectors based on scientific criteria.

• Wherever possible, splitting of the industrial sectors was also considered based on the use of raw materials, manufacturing process adopted and in-turn pollutants expected to be generated.

• Another feature of the new categorization system lies in facilitating self-assessment by industries as the subjectivity of earlier assessment has been eliminated.

• The re-classification is a part of the efforts, policies and objective of the government to create a clean and transparent working environment in the country and promote the ease of doing business.

• While no Red category of industries shall normally be permitted in the ecologically fragile area or protected area, the White category was created to identify non-polluting industries.

Features of White category industries

• It is a newly-introduced industry category and contains 36 industrial sectors which are practically non-polluting.

• There shall be no necessity of obtaining the Consent to Operate for this category of industries and intimation to concerned SPCB / PCC shall suffice.

• Some of the industries included in the category are - biscuit trays, etc. from rolled PVC sheet (using automatic vacuum forming machines), Cotton and woolen hosiers making (dry process only without any dying/washing operation) and electric lamp (bulb) among others.

Why the re-classification?

The old system of categorization was creating problems for many industries and was not reflecting the pollution of the industries.

For example, 25 industrial sectors which were not critically polluting were also earlier categorized as Red. This was creating wrong impression to everyone.

Hence, the exercise of re-categorization of industries took place on scientific basis based on their pollution load.

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