Spread Awareness Among Citizens On Significance Of Urban Forests: Chief Secy To OPSCB

Bhubaneswar: Make people aware about the contributions of urban forests towards the healthy life of the denizens, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra noted at a meeting with officials of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) on Thursday.

Reviewing the progress made in curtailing of pollution generated from various sources, Mahapatra directed to keep up the campaign for clean air in the cities and industrial towns.

He said, “The urban forests have great contributions towards healthy lives of the denizens, maintenance of the ambiance air quality, ground water level and bio-diversity in the cities. Besides, it adds freshness to the developmental interventions and promotes a green-ecosystem in the locality.”

Mahapatra added, “The urban forests like Bharatpur sanctuary, Ekamra Kanana, Jayadev Vatika and Chandaka have immensely contributed towards enrichment of human life in a number of ways.”

The Board was asked to strictly enforce the pollution control measures in the aluminum smelter plants operating near Hirakud. He directed to ensure zero discharge of the fluoride by these industries to the reservoir.

Mahapatra said the industries should properly dispose of the generated fluoride within their own campus without contaminating ground water of the area. The Board was also asked to conduct a detail study on the waste discharge by these industries and its impact on the wild life.

The issues relating to development of air quality and monitoring of air pollutants generated by the industries figured in the meeting. It was seen that following earlier instructions of the Chief Secretary, 145 industries put under 17 highly polluting categories were instructed to install high density internet based surveillance cameras at suitable locations for viewing of the stag and fugitive emissions.

So far 24 industries installed the cameras. These cameras were connected to the remote monitoring Control Room set up in Head Office of the Board at Bhubaneswar. Other 61 industries were in the process of installation of the cameras. Sri Mahapatra directed that balance industries should fix the cameras on a time bound manner.

Other important matters discussed in the meeting included implementation of the clean air programme in Ekamra Kshetra (Bhubaneswar), and development of the Geo database for environmental mapping in critically polluted areas of the State. It was decided that the out of several global level air pollution management models, the technique of less emission zone (LEZ) would be more effective for Bhubaneswar.

The Chief Secretary directed to make the action plan more collaborative through active involvement BMC, SPCB, departments of Works and Tourism and the local residents. The action plan would target at monitoring of air quality through systematic interventions.

Member Secretary of OSPCB, Dr K Murugesan appraised that as per earlier instructions of the Chief Secretary Geo database for environmental mapping and web based GIS application were rolled out in Talcher. The system would also be put in place for the industrial areas in Rourkela, Keonjhar, Balasore, Kalinganagar, and Angul.

Through the system, the pollution generation and disposal by the industries could be monitored thorough a web based online system from the Control Room itself. The proposals regarding delegation of more powers to the regional offices for quick decision making and expeditious implementation were also approved by the Chief Secretary in the meeting.

Director Environment Sushanta Nanda, Director Broiler and Factories Dr N Thirumala Naik, Expert members Dr Ajit Patnaik, Prof Atanu Pati, and Dr G.K. Roy along with senior officers from the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Steel and Mines, and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation participated in the discussions.