Make pollution hotspots data public, CPCB tells Odisha
BHUBANESWAR: THE Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has asked the State Government to put all environmental quality data related to critically polluted areas (CPAs) on the public domain.
The information, including revised Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) scores, which evaluate level of pollution, must be put on public domain through a website and published by the State Government.
The Central board has also directed that the State Government must notify areas on a properly scaled map and issue public advisories indicating that such CPAs are only meant for industrialisation purposes.
In Odisha, there are four designated polluted areas. While Angul-Talcher, Ib Valley and Jharsuguda are designated as CPAs with CEPI of 70 and more, Paradip is earmarked as a severely polluted area. There are 43 critically and 32 severely polluted areas in the country.
Since 2009-10, the CPCB has been periodically monitoring pollution levels at these clusters but it revised its assessment framework this year and decided that continuous environmental monitoring must be taken up by the State boards.
The CPCB has instructed its State counterpart to undertake environmental quality monitoring in all CPAs of the State by roping in a third party agency. The Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) has also been asked to identify the agency, a laboratory, which is recognised under the Environment Protection Act. The environmental monitoring will be carried out twice a year - before and after monsoon.
As per its directions, the OSPCB has to identify more sampling stations, apart from the existing ones. These points have to be strategic so as to give a true picture of environment quality.
Ambient air and water quality has to be monitored on a continuous basis by the OSPCB as part of the new norms prescribed by the Central board.
The CPCB, which recently released a list of 17 categories of highly polluting industries, has asked the State board to redesign the continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations in these polluted areas for a better representation.
The water quality monitoring will not only necessitate installation of 24x7 monitoring stations but also imposition of ‘polluter pays’ principle.