Bhubaneswar: A Comprehensive Clean Air Action Plan for six urban centres of Odisha has been prepared to improve the ambient air quality.
This was discussed and shared among the stakeholders, experts and activists in the State Level Workshop held here in the premises of hotel Crown.
Inaugurating the Workshop Chief Secretary AP Padhi said that Odisha had set on its journey for monitoring and management of urban air quality years back. As first generation action, steps have been taken for improving emission standards for industries, shifting of polluting industries, putting in place extensive public transport system.
“Causes of air pollution and its remedies are known. Policies have also been framed. The action plan is also ready. Now it is the time for strengthening the implementing mechanism and strict enforcement,” Padhi said.
The Chief Secretary said,” the people who pollute must pay for compensatory action and the people who violate must be punished to deter the tendency of violation”.
Addressing the workshop as Guest of Honor, Additional Chief Secretary Forest & Environment Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said, ” the action plan has been prepared in a time-bound manner within two months under the joint efforts of the Center for Science and Environment ( CSE), Delhi; Forest and Environment department, Government of Odisha and State Pollution Control Board, Odisha.
Mohapatra added “this is the first workshop to discuss the action plan. It will be shared with all stakeholders and implementing agencies including peoples’ organizations operating at a different level for attainment of national standards of clean air quality in six air polluted urban centers”.
Member State Pollution Control Board Debidutta Biswal presenting the welcome address said, “air pollution has reached alarming proportion. Around seven million people of the world have been affected by air pollution-related diseases out of which four million are in the Asia-Pacific region. The problem needs cogent and coherent effort by different stakeholders. The action plan has been prepared for the cities like Angul, Balasore, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela and Talcher in Odisha”.
It may be pertinent to mention here that 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 these six cities of Odisha. Available data show, the annual average level of particular matter less than 10 micron size ( PM10) will have to be reduced by 39% in Angul, 28% in Balasore, 36% in Bhubaneswar, 27% in Cuttack 41% in Rourkela and 45% in Talcher to meet the National Air Quality Standard. The present multispectral comprehensive action plan has been prepared for these cities.