Bihar starts survey to prepare exclusive environment plans for all districts
The Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) said that it has engaged an agency to conduct survey in all the districts to prepare the district environment plans.
PATNA: The Bihar government is in the process of preparing exclusive environment plan for all 38 districts of the state to address the local environmental issues, said Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) member secretary S Chandrashekhar.
Aiming to create a National Environment Plan, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which was formed under the National Green Tribunal Act in 2010 as a specialised judicial body to handle environmental issues in the country, directed all the states and Union Territories in 2020 to create state environment plan based on the district environment plans. These district environment plans have to be submitted to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) which will forward it to NGT and once approved by NGT, the department of forests, environment and climate will form a state environment plan on this basis and make the district plan effective in different areas.
Chandrashekhar said BSPCB has engaged an agency to conduct survey in all the districts to prepare the district environment plan and the agency has started the work.
“District plan is intended to address the local needs and requirements. Every area has different kind of problem. The plan has to be prepared according to the local needs. This is why we first need to have the facts and figures regarding pollution in different areas of the state and then the strategies for improvement will be prepared. For this work we have engaged an agency,” Chandrashekhar said.
The deadline to submit district environment plan was October 2021, but considering the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, things got delayed,” he said. As the district plan is to be submitted within 3 months, the agency has started working over it, he said, adding, “Survey of pollution level in the districts has been started.”
The fact findings and the strategies for improvement will be sent to the CPCB which will forward it to NGT, he said, adding, “Once approved by NGT, the district environment plan will be made effective.”
The agency, which the State Pollution Control Board has engaged for district plan, has started conducting survey of the kind of pollution in the area, the level of pollution, the sources of pollution and its impacts over life and environment in the area. Besides, the environment plan will also have strategies to stop pollution and to curb and bring down the pollution graph. The plan will also mention the team of officials for monitoring the implementation of district environment plan and their work, responsibilities and accountability will also be clearly mentioned.
The district environment plan needs to address issues related to waste management, solid waste management, biomedical waste, construction and demolition waste, hazardous wastes, electronic wastes, plastic waste, water quality management, ambient air quality management, domestic sewage, mining and noise pollution.
Rakesh Kumar, a Patna-based environmentalist, said air pollution level has been high in the state. “Patna and Muzaffarpur were listed in the 20 most polluted cities of the country, reported by the Smart Air Analysis, 2021 which was based on the PM (particulate matter) 2.5 AQI (Air Quality Index) 2021 India Pollution Data.
Patna recorded PM2.5 levels 16 times higher than the World Health Organisation (WHO)-recommended limit of 5 microns, he said. Muzaffarpur too had high PM 2.5 pollution level, he added. The environmentalist said air pollution is the leading cause of diseases and deaths in our country and one among the most commonly tracked pollutant is very small fine particles known as PM 2.5 which often enters the lungs and bloodstream and badly affect them, he added.