Bhubaneswar: State Pollution Control Board of Odisha (SPCB, Odisha) has been raked No-1 in Transparency Index rating, according to Center for Science and Environment(CSE), New Delhi.
This was appraised to Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra by Member Secretary, State Pollution Control Board Dr K Murugesan recently.
While complementing the Board for this achievement, Chief Secretary Mahapatra advised the Board to involve different stakeholders in environmental management. The involvement of the stakeholders would be helpful for the Board in enforcement of regulatory compliances for environmental governance.
Explaining the ranking, Dr Murugesan said that CSE did the assessment as per the provisions in Sec-17 ( C) and Sec 35 (2) of Air Act, Section 17 ( C) and Sec-39 (2) of Water Act, Environment Protection Action Act and various Waste Management Rules. The assessment focused on putting of the data regarding continuous emission monitoring, consent to establish and operate, public hearings for environmental clearance, show cause notices, directions and closure notices etc on public domain about 17 categories of industries.
The rating was done on the basis of 18 parameters relating to these focus areas. The performance of all 31 State pollution Control Board and Pollution Control Committees operating in the country from 2016-2021 was taken into assessment process.
The outcome of the assessment placed Odisha State Pollution Control Board at the top with 67 percentage points. Telangana Board scored at par with Odisha followed by Tamilnadu, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
It may be pertinent here to mention that the procedural re-engineering and administrative reform in SPCB, Odisha was started from 2015 under the leadership of present Chief Secretary Mahapatra during his tenure as Principal Secretary and subsequently Additional Chief Secretary Forest & Environment department.
As of now the Board has put online 11 major services online including consent to establish, consent to operate, permissions regarding bio-medical waste management, hazardous waste management, solid waste management, online payment gateway, auto-renewal, authorisation under e-waste management, registration under plastic waste management, real-time data from analyzers, and quality monitoring cameras. The Board has also rolled out mobile application for redressal of public complaint in non-attainment cities.