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Odisha Gears Up To Curb Air Pollution In Six Cities

Bhubaneswar: As Odisha Government has prioritized clean air action plan in another step towards improving environmental condition and reducing health hazards, a high level brain throbbing exercise to this effect was held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi at the State Secretariat conference hall today.

As per air quality study, there are about 102 cities in India where air quality does not confirm to the National Ambient Quality Standards (NAAQS) including six cities of Odisha namely Angul, Balasore, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela and Talcher.

The permissible limit of annual average level of PM10 is 60 microgram per cubic meter and PM 2.5 level is 40 microgram per cubic meter. As per this matrix, these six cities have been regarded as non-attainment cities.

After discussion on the suggestive findings, Padhi directed the Collectors to devise city specific action strategies keeping in view the local pollution level and steps already initiated. He further directed to intensify the enforcement activities for curtailing the pollution generated by the major polluters.

It was decided in the meeting that Forest & Environment departments would work as nodal department for implementation of the State Clean Air Action Plan; IIT Bhubaneswar would be taken as technological partner in implementation of the action plan.

Development Commissioner Asit Kumar Tripathy directed the concerned departments to segregate the suggestions into short-term, long-term and medium-term action agenda and prepare specific strategies for achieving national standards of air quality particularly in the identified six cities.

The suggestive findings were shared with respective departments and agencies today in the meeting. Since the air pollution level is on rise in some pockets of the State, it needs cogent and coherent effort by different stake holders.

Discussions in the meeting showed that the main sources of polluting matters like PM10 and PM 2.5 are mainly coming from the dust, transport, burnings in residential area, construction and demolition materials, DG sets, brick kilns, industry and different types of waste.

Replying to media query after the meeting, Pollution Control Board member Debidatta Biswal said that the blue print of the action plan was prepared under the joint efforts of the Center for Science & Environment (CSE), New Delhi, Forest & Environment department of Odisha and State Pollution Control Board.

It was decided to set up daily air quality pubic information system based on national air quality index and align the action strategies accordingly.

Additional Chief Secretary and Development AK Tripathy, Industry department's Principal Secretary Sanjeeb Chopra, Finance department's Principal Secretary Ashok Kumar Meena, Commerce & Transport department's Principal Secretary G. Srinivas, Revenue & Disaster Management department's Principal Secretary Nikunja Bihari Dhal, Works Secretary Krishan Kumar, CEC Executive Director Anumita Roychoudhury, OSPCB member D Biswal along with other senior officers and environment engineers participated in the deliberations.