First Meeting of House Committee on Environment held

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Bhubaneswar: The first meeting of the House Committee to look into the aspects of environmental pollution in the state was held today.

The meeting was held in Room No-54 of OLA under the Chairmanship of Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro. The Committee had a preliminary discussion about its future plan and programme.

Mona Sharma, Principal Secretary, forest & Environment, Sandeep Tripathy, PCCF, Dr K. Murugeson, Director, Environment-cum-special Secretary, Debidutta Biswal, Member Secretary, State Pollution Control Board apprised the Committee on the activities of the Department with special focus on pollution control.

The discussion revolved around the protection of the environment, climatic change, steps taken by ULBs and PR & DW Department for disposal of waste management, prevention, control or abatement of pollution and enforcing the environmental laws. The members raised issues ranging from pollution in mining areas, rivers and Chilika lake.

The officials informed that the State Pollution Control Board was constituted in July, 1983 and was entrusted with the responsibilities of implementing the environmental acts. The Fly Ash Resource Centre has been set up in the State Pollution Control Board for management and utilization of fly ash in the state. Initiatives have been taken to facilitate bulk utilization of other industrial solid wastes. The bedded health care establishment have been brought under the consent administration.

In order to augment the capacity of the Board in the area of Coastal Environment Monitoring, the World Bank assisted Coastal Zone Management Project is being implemented. The Board has granted consent with stipulations of appropriate pollution control measures to industries, hotels etc. Continuous online monitoring of Stack emission and Ambient Air quality in mines and industrial areas is being made.

Star rating programme in collaboration with EPIC-India (Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago)has been started. Online application processing for consent to establish and operate, hazardous and bio-medical waste has been started. Further, it has been decided to constitute five sub-committees. Three sub-committees to look into the environmental pollution of all natures in all districts of the state and submit their report to the main committee for consideration.

The fourth sub-committee will examine the Action Taken Reports of the Committee presented to the House so far. The fifth Committee will suggest rules, regulations, laws, instructions for better protection of Forest & Environment in the state.

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