The concept of 'carrying capacity' addresses the question of how much natural resources can be drawn from an area without the risk of degrading the environment there.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel ordered the director of Industrial Safety to conduct the study in three months in coordination with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The report submitted to the Tamil Nadu chief secretary for further action.
''There is a need for a study of the carrying capacity of the area to sustain the extent of such activities having regard to the potential for accidental, occupational and environmental hazards. ''The study may include the number of units to be allowed, size of operation of such units, the quantity of material to be used, siting criteria for the location of the units, arrangement for fire management and health services,'' the bench said.
Stressing on the need for reviewing such incidents at the highest level in the state, the NGT the chief secretary of Tamil Nadu to hold a meeting with all stakeholders in a month. ''After necessary deliberations, appropriate remedial measures be identified to avoid recurrence of such incidents in the future. The same may be implemented through the district magistrate or any other appropriate authority as per law which may be overseen by the chief secretary. ''The state pollution control board may incorporate appropriate conditions in consents, including prohibiting the use of banned chemicals, and compliance of 1989 and 1996 rules. Further, a mechanism (be put in place) to ensure the taking of insurance policies covering risk to life and health of all workers and others likely to be affected by fire or other accidents,'' the bench said.
Such mechanism may provide monitoring of compliance and stopping activities of units not following laid down standard operating procedures and regulations, it said.
''Substance of this order and regulatory measures may be published in the local area in vernacular language for information of local inhabitants,'' the NGT said.
The green panel directed the Tamil Nadu chief secretary to submit compliance status of directions after four months by e-mail.
It had earlier formed a panel headed by a former high court judge to secure credible facts and directed it to submit a report on the blast at the firecracker in Virudhunagar district. The explosion occurred on February 12 when some chemicals were being mixed to produce fireworks at the unit in Acchankulam village.
The eight-member committee included former high court judge K Kannan, representatives of Union Environment Ministry, CPCB, state Disaster Management Authority, head of the chemical engineering department of IIT-Madras, chief controller of explosives in Nagpur, a nominee of petroleum and explosives safety organization, and Chief Inspector of Factories, Tamil Nadu.