In a bid to check the water quality, the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) has enhanced its monitoring locations from the earlier 104 sites across the state to 131.The move has been initiated as per the National Water Monitoring Programme undertaken by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) which has notified sampling and analysis procedures for these sites.The board is supposed to undertake the monthly monitoring of water quality with effect from March. Information will be duly uploaded on the board’s site. The CPCB is directly monitoring the water and air quality undertaken by the state board at these sites.
Out of the 27 new sites, three pertain to the Nalagarh industrial area on the Chikni river where the presence of textile units has become a cause of concern for the board. Two other sites at the Giri river and Surajmukhi Nullah in Solan will also be monitored henceforth. Four sites in Una district, including the one upstream of the Swan river, will be monitored. Barely one site in Kangra district on the Beas has been included in the new arrangement while maximum of six sites in Sirmaur district, including the Giri river, Salani Nullah, two sites along the Markanda river, Rampur Jattan Moginand Nullah and Roon Nullah. Besides, three sites in Kullu, three in Kinnaur and two in Chamba have been included for water monitoring.
With no staff enhancement in the four laboratories of the board which were operating at Parwanoo, Jasur, Sundernagar and Paonta Sahib, the staff will face an added challenge of analysing water samples from 31 new locations.Despite the Central Pollution Control Board having directed the SPCB to upgrade its Parwanoo lab as per the specifications of the National Accreditation Board of Calibration and Testing of Laboratories (NABL) within 90 days in October 2015, it is yet to meet these standards. The board is yet to enhance its staff and upgrade its equipment as per the NABL norms.
Member Secretary, SPCB, Sanjay Sood, said they would soon appoint more staff as certain posts were vacant and the process to procure requisite equipment was also under way.He said the process of meeting NABL specifications for the Parwanoo lab was in progress and would be completed in the coming months. Sood said in addition to the 131 Centrally-monitored sites for water pollution, there were 157 state-monitored sites too where they were keeping a check on the quality of surface water.
*This story first appeared on The Tribune India
More than 30 industries that have zero-pollution load have been exempted from taking environmental clearance even as the Centre on Saturday released a new four-colour classification scheme for industries based on their pollution potential.
Under the new categorisation system, industries which pollute the most have been put in the red category while the moderately polluting units are classified orange.
Industries that have a significantly low pollution load have been placed in the green category while those that operate without causing any pollution have been categorised as white.
Terming it a “landmark” decision which gives a “fair picture” of the industries, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the new system of re-categorisation is based on an elaborate scientific exercise.
The existing system was creating problems because it did not reflect the actual pollution caused by the various units.
The Environment Ministry said that 60 industries, including sugar, thermal power plants, paints and others, which have a pollution index score of 60 and above, will be in the red category while 83 industries like coal washeries and automobile servicing which have scores ranging between 41 and 59 will be in the orange category.
Similarly, industries like aluminium utensil manufacturing and dal and flour mills, which have a pollution index score of between 21 and 40, have been kept in the green category.
A further 36 industries like air coolers and cotton and woollen hosiery, which have a pollution index score of up to 20, have been kept in the white category.
“The new category of white industries, which are practically non-polluting, will not require Environmental Clearance (EC) and Consent. That will help them get funds from lending institutions. The re-categorisation exercise was carried out over the last one year. This is a landmark decision to give a fair picture of the industries.
“Re-categorisation of industries based on their pollution load is a scientific exercise. The old system of categorisation was creating problems for many industries and was not reflecting the level of pollution caused by these. The new categories will remove this lacuna,” Javadekar said.
*This story first appeared on The Hindu Business Line