Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, has said that the Government has taken pollution seriously. He expressed the government’s commitment to reduce pollution. Addressing the two-day Conference of Chairmen & Member Secretaries of Pollution Control Boards & Pollution Control Committees, being held here, Shri Javadekar proposed the establishment of a new Pollution Research Institute to look into all pollution-related aspects. However, he added that the establishment of the Institute is in a conceptual stage. He also gave a call for more widespread participation of State Pollution Control Boards and suggested that such Conferences should be held every six months, both at the central and regional level.
The Environment Minister said that the Ministry’s emphasis will be on establishing a compliance regime and to send a message that violations will prove to be expensive. Shri Javadekar also stated that the government wants to provide ‘Ease of Doing Responsible Business’, but pollution-related challenges will have to be addressed.
The Minister said that a discussion on the concept of development without destruction, sustainable development; discussion on air pollution, industrial pollution, sand mining, pollution of rivers and waste management is a good development, as it increases awareness in the society. He emphasised that there is a need to be more responsive on tackling pollution, as the Ministry’s mission is to maintain balance between five elements of nature and protect them. He highlighted that for the first time, the Ministry has moved National Green Tribunal (NGT) against five municipalities in Uttar Pradesh for not responding to the directions issued for sewage treatment.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Shri A.K Mehta said that the forests and mangroves coverage have increased. He said that online monitoring of polluting industrial units and Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index (CEPI) has been revised and a fresh classification of industries has been done.
Some of the issues discussed at the Conference include – restoration of water quality of 302 identified polluted river stretches, re-categorisation of industries and actions for control of pollution, management of online data from 17 categories of industries and taking actions based on violations, action to be taken against municipalities for sewage and solid waste management and monitoring progress on implementation of action plans in critically polluted area based on revised formula.
The States have also agreed to implement the new Waste Management Rules notified by the Ministry in March 2016.