Saturday, September 22, 2012

MCC Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Press Communiqué

          In an interaction with the members of the MCC Chamber of Commerce & Industry on 21 September 2012, Shri R.P.S. Kahlon, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Environment, GoWB, highlighted on the key environmental threats like biodiversity loss, land use change, ocean acidification, chemical pollution, ozone depletion, climate change etc which have significant effect on the environment.   On the issue of overuse of ground water resources, he felt that lack of planning & poor enforcement, growth of heat islands, filling up of wetlands, contributed enormously. Ground water level in central business district of Kolkata has reduced by more than 10 metres and the recharge zone is rapidly being covered with impervious layer due to urbanization. He mentioned that there is little or no waste-treatment facility. Only 33 out of 126 ULBs have sewage treatment facility and only 4 out of 126 ULBs have engineered land fill sites.

          While blaming the vehicular emission behind the poor quality of air, Prof. Binay Kumar Dutta, Chairman, State’s Pollution Control Board, suggested that to reduce vehicular pollution, expanding of sub-ways and monorails, metro-rails could be the possible wayout from this menace. Prof. Dutta opined that it is not the lack of awareness but the lack of proper attitude which is adding to pollution. He felt that Ganga Action Plan failed to achieve the desired results to reduce pollution in Ganga river.

          Shri Sandipan Mukherjee, Member Secretary, WBPCB mentioned that the department is organising extensive awareness programme. He invited business community to work with the PCB, which is acting as a facilitator. He informed that ‘Environment Compliance Assistance Centre’ has been constituted by the department in collaboration with the World Bank where civil society, can participate and convey their views.

          Shri Deepak Jalan, President, MCCI expressing concern over the rising problems of pollution in the country, highlighted on India’s rank at the bottom among 132 nations in terms of Air Quality in 2012. Vehicle emissions accounted for 70 p.c. of the country’s air pollution and it is worse in big cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. He also enquired about the steps taken by the PCB on reduction of use of plastic carry bags, reduction of radiation from mobile towers, e-waste management etc.

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