By March 2015, thousands of industries across India will have to install online pollution monitoring systems but the state pollution boards do not have the means for compliance.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) earlier this year had asked industries in 17 high emission sectors to install the online monitoring system for emissions and effluents.
The notification issued under air and water acts had threatened of penal action if the industries failed to comply. Under the rule, the GPS based system had to be connected with the state pollution boards where the industry was situated for regular monitoring.
But, before issuing the notification the CPCB did not improve capacity of the state pollution control boards to monitor such a large number of industries.
‘The pollutiom control boards do not have the software to ensure that the industry does not tamper with the equipment to show compliance and ensure caliberation,’ said an industry source, who had been in touch with the state pollution control board on this issue.
He also added that the boards does not have even server strength to ensure such a large number of data can be fed and available in public domain on real time basis.
The CPCB officials admit that many state boards lack technical expertise to run such a system. “Over 10,000 industries will have to be monitored in Uttar Pradesh alone and it will mean one officer dealing with hundred of industries,” a CPCB official said, terming the online monitoring an impossible task.
The official also pointed out that in high mining states like Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh even connecting far flung mines with the state pollution board servers will be a problem.
Industry believes that the entire online polluting programme has been pushed without much thought and may result in another form on ‘inspector raj’.