Government has Taken Series of Steps to Address Pollution-Related Issues: Environment Minister

Pollution is a matter of concern in cities and towns and is caused due to introduction of contaminants into the environment viz. air, water and soil that may cause adverse change in ambient conditions. The Government has taken a series of steps to address issues related to water pollution, air & vehicular pollution, industrial pollution, improper waste disposal etc. in cities, towns and metropolises. The major steps being taken by the Government to control pollution inter alia include the following:-

(i) Notification of National Ambient Air Quality Standards;

(ii) Formulation of environmental regulations / statutes;

(iii) Setting up of monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality;

(iv) Introduction of cleaner / alternate fuels like gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG etc.), ethanol blend etc.;

(v) Promotion of cleaner production processes.

(vi) Launching of National Air Quality index by the Prime Minister in April, 2015;

(vii) Implementation of Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) norms in 63 selected cities and universalization of BS-IV by 2017;

(viii) Decision taken to leapfrog directly from BS-IV to BS-VI fuel standards by 1st April, 2020;

(ix) Taxing polluting vehicles and incentivizing hybrid and electric vehicles;

(x) Comprehensive amendments to various Waste Management Rules including Municipal Solid Waste, Plastic Waste, Hazardous Waste, Bio-medical Waste and Electronic Waste notified;

(xi) Notification of Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules;

(xii) Ban on burning of leaves, biomass, municipal solid waste;

(xiii) Promotion of public transport network of metro, buses, e-rickshaws and promotion of car pooling, Pollution Under Control, lane discipline, vehicle maintenance;

(xiv) Revision of existing environmental standards and formulation of new standards for prevention and control of pollution from industries;

(xv) Regular co-ordination meetings at official and ministerial level with Delhi and other State Governments within the NCR;

(xvi) Issuance of directions under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and under Section 18(1)(b) of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;

(xvii) Installation of on-line continuous (24x7) monitoring devices by major industries.

(xviii) Preparation of action plan for sewage management and restoration of water quality in aquatic resources by State Governments;

(xix) Implementation of National River Conservation Plan for abatement of pollution in identified stretches of various rivers and undertaking conservation activities which inter-alia include interception & diversion of raw sewage, construction of sewerage systems, setting up of sewage treatment plants, low cost sanitation facilities, education and awareness creation, community participation, electric/improved wood crematoria and river front development.

Delhi Government while formulating the Master Plan of Delhi 2001 had categorized all hazardous/ noxious/ heavy and large industries into H category for the purpose of stopping and shifting the identified industries out of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. There is no standard categorization of industries under H category from pollution perspective. The Central Pollution Control Board has categorized the industries into Red, Orange, Green and White category based on the composite scores which is calculated on the basis of air pollution, water pollution score and hazardous waste generation. As per this classification, Red category covers 60 industrial sectors, Orange category covers 83 industrial sectors, Green category covers 63 industrial sectors and the newly introduced, White category covers 36 industrial sectors. CPCB had issued directions under section 18(1)(b) of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 to all State Pollution Control Boards / Pollution Control Committees (SPCBs / PCCs) on 07.03.2016 to harmonize the criteria of classification of industries.

This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Anil Madhav Dave, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

Source: July 19, 2016, Business Standard