BHUBANESWAR: The first meeting of the Assembly committee to look into aspects of environmental pollution in the State was held on Monday under the chairmanship of Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro.
The House committee was apprised of the various activities of the Forest and Environment department by its officers with focus on pollution control. Issues relating to environment protection, climate change, steps taken by urban local bodies (ULBs) and Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water department for disposal of waste, prevention, control and abatement of pollution and enforcing environmental laws were discussed.
As some members raised concern over rise in pollution in mining areas, rivers and Chilika lake, the officers explained various measures taken by Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) for management and utilisation of fly ash in the State, bulk utilisation of other industrial solid waste and management of medical waste.
“Continuous online monitoring of stack emission and ambient air quality in mines and industrial areas is being done. Star rating programme in collaboration with Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC)-India has been started. Online application processing for consent to establish and operate hazardous and bio-medical waste has also started,” the House committee was informed.
The meeting decided to constitute five sub-committees of which three will look into all types of environmental pollution in the districts and submit their report to the main committee for consideration.
The fourth sub-committee will examine the action taken reports (ATRs) of the panel tabled in the Assembly so far while the fifth will suggest rules, regulations, laws and instructions for better protection of forest environment in the State.