Environment Sector in The National Capital Region

NCR, a dynamic urban region with more than 100 urban centres and endowed with ecologically sensitive natural features such as ridge, wetlands, sanctuaries etc. needs to be planned in a way to achieve an environmentally sustainable pattern of urban development through a rational land use pattern and conservation. The conversion of agricultural land into non-agricultural and abiotic uses in order to realise the land value potential is so severe that it would require a very consistent and deterministic policy to achieve this. The environment plays a crucial role in establishing the paradigm of future development. Environmental concerns need to be viewed holistically and concerns of both natural as well as built environment not only need to be conserved but also protected from various forms of natural hazards.

Regional Plan-2001 envisaged the following policies and proposals for the environment and eco-development in NCR:

i. Air pollution :-

The pollution impacts have to be identified through appropriate field research studies so that the levels and types of industrialisation can be established for different Sub-regions.

ii. Water pollution:-

No untreated domestic and industrial waste should be permitted to be discharged over land or into water bodies before treating it to the specified discharge standards under Environmental Protection Act, 1986. As far as possible, new industries be developed in identified and classified industrial areas/estates which should have proper effluent treatment facilities in-situ before effluents are discharged into natural areas. The settlements where regular sewerage schemes are not available, low cost sanitation system for individual family or community may be adopted as a short-term measure. Controlled environmentally protected zones for hazardous and polluting industries should be created.

iii.Solid waste:-

Scientific approach should be adopted for the solid waste management and its re-use in all urban and agricultural areas.

iv.Coordination Committee:-

A Coordination Committee for prevention and control of pollution of water, land and air should be established for NCR.

v. Afforestation Programmes:-

It should be undertaken on all barren and uncultivable land by the concerned agencies.

Care should be taken by the local planning and plan implementing authorities at the time of preparing and implementing the development plans of the urban areas in their Sub-regions to contain the unplanned and uncontrolled spread of corridor developments all along the major transport arteries of the region.

Review of Regional Plan-2001 suggested that environmental degradation in the region should be arrested, waste water should be treated and recycled, eco-sensitive areas should be protected, environmental considerations should be integrated while planning for industries and pollution control norms of MOE&F should be enforced. It also pointed out that good agricultural land should be protected from urbanisation and unauthorised corridor development


Land is the most crucial and critical environment resource. Every land use/activity i.e., housing, transportation, industry, recreation, conservation etc. or their linkages have got environmental impact on air, water, soil etc. and in order to improve the environmental condition in the region following policies and strategies are proposed:

i) Good agricultural land in the region should be protected and conserved. There is substantial surplus capacity in the existing urban areas other than Delhi to accommodate greater number of population. This may reduce the need for unnecessary conversion of good agriculture land to urban uses.

ii) The land use allocation has to be carefully carried out in order to protect and conserve both surface and ground water resources.

iii) Master/Development Plans for the towns in the region should incorporate land suitability analysis for land use allocations, which would identify areas intrinsically suitable for settlement, agriculture, forestry, industry and recreational uses. Further growth in the region should be channelised in the areas, which are only suitable for settlement growth.

iv) The database for air quality, water quality (surface and ground water), noise pollution and land pollution is very poor and need to be created for the region. There are only three air quality monitoring stations in the region. In order to create better database, more air quality monitoring stations are required. A Committee should be setup in each of the Sub-regions of NCR by the respective State Governments to recommend locations of the monitoring station of air and water quality, to regularly review the status and recommend remedial measures. Pollution Control Boards of respective States should monitor the above-cited parameters on a regular basis. The data should be easily accessible to public for awareness.

v) While carrying out activities for the development of the region, provisions under Environmental Protection Act, 1986 and Rules thereof should be followed. Carrying Capacity of the region based on Minimum National Standards should be followed in order to provide a better quality of life to the people in the region. Following factors should be considered:

  • Minimal national standards
  • The environmental sensitivity of the region
  • The carrying capacity of the receiving water bodies and environment
  • The existing quality of environment
  • The health requirements in the area

vi) Industrial parks/estates with controlled environment and with Combined Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) should be constructed considering the carrying capacity concept. For the hazardous waste producing industries in the region, land allocation should be done appropriately for Combined Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF). Similarly, State Governments should encourage/adopt efficient and clean technology based power plants to meet the growing power demand for reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) levels.

vii) Data inputs to check the performance of various parts of NCR in relation to these needs be made and regularly monitored. A Cell in NCRPB be created to perform this task.

viii) The areas/zones mentioned below located in NCR should be conserved/protected:

  • Reserved/protected forests
  • Forests other than reserved and protected forests
  • Monuments-National, State, Local
  • Heritage/cultural sites
  • Scenic areas
  • National parks
  • Sanctuaries
  • Areas with endangered species-flora and fauna
  • Biosphere reserves
  • Wetlands
  • Resorts/areas of tourist interest
  • Water bodies
  • Springs/water recharge areas
  • Other environmental resource areas

ix) The Ministry of Environment and Forests under Section 3(1) and 3(2) (v) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 and Rule 5(3)(d) of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 restricts certain activities in specified area of Aravalli Range which are causing environmental degradation in the region and prohibits following process and operations:

  1. Location of any new industry including expansion/modernisation;
  2. (a) All new mining operations including renewals of mining leases.
    (b) Existing mining leases in sanctuaries/national parks and areas covered under Project Tiger; and/or
    (c) Mining is being done without permission of the competent Authority.
  3. Cutting of trees.
  4. Construction of any clusters of dwelling units, farms houses, sheds, community centres, information centres and any other activity connected with such construction (including roads and part of any infrastructure relating thereto)
  5. Electrification (laying of new transmission lines)

No such activities should be undertaken in the Aravalli range in NCR.

In some areas carrying out of certain processes and operations without permission is prohibited. These include:

  1. All reserved forests, protected forests or any other area shown as "forest in the land records maintained by the State Government as on the date of this notification in relation to Gurgaon district of the State of Haryana and the Alwar district of the State of Rajasthan.
  2. All areas shown as:
    (a) Gair Mumkin Pahar, or
    (b) Gair Mumkin Rada, or
    (c) Gair Mumkin Bched, or
    (d) Banjad Beed, or
    (e) Rundh.
  3. In the land records maintained by the State Government as on on the date of this notification in relation to Gurgaon district of the State of Haryana and the Alwar district of the State of Rajasthan.
  4. All areas covered by the notification issued under Section 4 and 5 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, as applicable to the State of Haryana in the district of Gurgaon up to the data of this notification.
  5. All areas of Sariska National Park and Sariska Sanctuary notified under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (53 of 1972).

For more information on Environment Sector in the NCR, please refer to documents below:

Regional Plan Document on Environment Sector

For perusing relevant ministry websites, please click http://www.envfor.nic.in/