Bhubaneswar: Odisha will bring 15 more towns under Air Quality Management.

This was decided at the Board meeting of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), held here on Thursday under the chairmanship of chief secretary Asit Tripathy.

Tripathy directed the Board to establish continuous air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) in air pollution prone cities. The meeting approved the Board member secretary Dr K Murugesan’s proposal to set up the satiations at pollution prone places in the districts of Cuttack, Balasore, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, Angul and Bhubaneswar. Chief secretary directed to complete the work within the current financial year.

At present two CAAQMS are operating at Talcher and Brajrajnagar.

Tripathy tasked the Board to come up with definite action plan for setting national benchmark in ‘hassle free compliance’ through simplification of the processes and office automation. He said, since Odisha is rich in mineral resources, the State also needs to be proportionately industrialized”. “Process reengineering while adding to capacity enhancement of the Board”, added Tripathy, “will help creation of more employment opportunities through facilitation of business environment”.

Chief secretary set transformational goals for the Board to reduce the time line for ‘delivery of public services’ and reverse the increasing trend of air pollution by guiding the industries to adopt latest ‘production technology’ and ‘containment measures’.

Reviewing activities of the Board presented by member secretary Dr K. Murugesan, chief secretary directed to simplify and shorten the application forms for availing certificates/ no objections under various norms. The board was also directed to reduce the file processing and disposal times by adopting office automation system.

Member Secretary Dr. Murgesan said that the automation system should be linked to regional offices and central laboratory to reduce the time of getting reports from field officers. The board would adopt ‘self attestation” mode by eliminating physical contact with the application.

It was decided to put in place a SOP for rigorous validation and analysis of the large volume of raw data expected to be generated from these stations for public use.

The proposal regarding development of geo-data base for environmental mapping was approved in the meeting. It was decided that it would be a web based application for all polluted prone areas of Odisha. The meeting also decided to develop a web portal containing updated data about air and water quality in different areas of the State for public information and use.