BHUBANESWAR: With six cities of Odisha, including the Capital City, failing to meet the national ambient air quality standards fixed by the Central Pollution Control Board, the State Government will form an Air Quality Monitoring Committee (AQMC) to prepare action plan to reduce pollution level in next 10 years.
A direction to this effect has been issued by the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) in line with the recent the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order which had said 102 cities in the country, including Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Angul, Talcher and Rourkela from Odisha, have been categorised as non-attaining cities for high pollution level.
“The action plan will be prepared by a six-member committee comprising directors of Environment, Transport, Industries, Urban Development, Agriculture departments and Member Secretary of the Board,” said OSPCB Member Secretary Debidutta Biswal in a letter to Additional Chief Secretary of Forest and
Environment department Suresh Chandra Mohapatra.
According to OSPCB officials, while the AQMC will function under overall supervision and coordination of the Secretary of Forest and Environment department, the Chief Secretary will supervise its implementation. “As per the NGT order, the Chief Secretary will be accountable for failure to formulate the action plan,” the letter stated.
The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which has categorised these 102 cities as ‘non-attainment cities’ for failing to meet the air quality standards, has proposed to reduce pollution level.
The NGT had asked the state governments to include measures to check vehicular pollution, industrial emissions, population density and construction activities in the action plan. The October 8 NGT order also asked the States to frame guidelines to regulate vehicles and industries in these cities.