Saturday, 13, July, 2024

The government of Uzbekistan unveiled the plan to announce a standstill for the construction of cement factories, the Minister of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change Aziz Abdukhakimov said in his report at the Legislative Chamber on Tuesday.

He said some cement factories were built in mountainous areas where eco-tourism could be developed. The presence of these enterprises is detrimental to public health and nature.

“We studied several facts, I myself personally visited the Zafarabad district of the Jizzakh province, where there is a cement plant. There, trees and the surrounding area 5-10 km away are covered with a layer of dust. This means that the vegetation and fauna there have been destroyed. We have studied the legislation - now there is a fine of only 100-200 million soums for these violations,” the minister said.

Aziz Abdukhakimov said that it is planned to introduce a minimum fine of 10 billion soums, which will force enterprises to install modern dust and gas cleaning equipment.

He underscored that, as part of easing doing business, environmental assessment of such projects was exempted when choosing a location and approving design estimates. On November 1, 2023, environmental assessment was restored.

“The capacity of cement factories in Uzbekistan is several times higher than the needs. This issue was discussed in the government headed by the Prime Minister. It has now been decided that no new cement plants will be built. Let’s see, maybe a standstill will be declared,” he emphasized.

According to him, out of 47 factories built, 23 suspended operations. In addition, a study of 25 cement manufacturers found that 90% of them violate environmental provisions.

Aziz Abdukhakimov said that environmental oversight over cement enterprises would be carried out together with the Prosecutor General's Office.

The other day, president Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that industrial enterprises had been provided with many concessions and benefits in order to “get back on their feet,” but some enterprises do not think about paying taxes or protecting the environment.

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