New Delhi, June 28: Expressing concern over the air quality status of Delhi, Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan called for substantive action at the local level, along with a holistic action plan for air quality management. He stated, “Information Technology must be embedded into Pollution Control Regime; need to clear the Pollution of Corruption from the system”.
Addressing the inaugural function of 62nd Conference of Chairmen & Member Secretaries of Pollution Control Boards on Tuesday, the Minister said, “Our Government is committed to promote economic well-being, along with environmental well-being”.
To enhance transparency and efficiency in efforts to contain and mitigate pollution, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has made a strong pitch for embedding Information Technology into pollution control regime. He asserted that there is a need to clear the pollution of corruption from the system, besides clearing air and water pollution.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasized that the use of Information Technology will ensure better compliance, as well as enhance the interaction and outreach between various stakeholders. IT will also help in resolving issues with State Pollution Control Boards, he added.
The Minister pointed to the urgent need for innovative thinking and an out-of-the-box approach to resolving various issues.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, while referring to the flagship schemes such as Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan, Make in India campaign, Smart Cities Project and Digital India Campaign said that Make in India will adopt a ‘Zero Effect Zero Defect’ policy, which will leave Zero Effect on the environment.
The Minister stressed upon the need to address the gaps in the disposal of Solid Waste Management, as 50% of the waste collected is dumped unscientifically. He also pointed out that while 259000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day, only 14 States/Union Territories have banned plastic carry-bags. While the estimated quantity of E-waste generated is about 1.70 million TPA, the quantity of E-Waste that is recycled is about 462896 TPA, he added.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also expressed dissatisfaction that E-waste inventorization had been completed by only five states - Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. He urged the remaining States to complete the process of inventorization of E-waste as soon as possible.
The Environment Minister suggested that people must be educated and motivated about the actions that they can take individually to bring about a quantitative and qualitative change on environmental issues. He sought inputs for creation of a Databank of good environmental actions and deeds that can be taken by individuals, as their contribution towards protection of the environment.
For the proper management of solid waste and sewage, Dr. Harsh Vardhan called for an emphasis on the implementation of the concept of 4 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover. As incorporated in the amended Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, He directed the Boards to ensure strict observance to timelines for achieving a reduction in waste generation.
The Union Minister pointed that along with a commitment from the society on environmental issues there is a need of bringing a new perspective into the existing rules and laws. He also asked all the agencies to involve the people of the country and to make efforts to restore the status of environment that our ancestors had given to us and which we have to deliver to future generations.