State Pollution Control Board has organized a workshop “Samanvay-2021”

The H.P. State Pollution Control Board has organized a workshop “Samanvay-2021” for the stakeholder departments regarding ‘Implementation of Environmental Laws in Himachal Pradesh’. The State level workshop was held on 04.09.2021 at Hotel Peterhof Shimla, which was inaugurated by Sh. Prabodh Saxena (IAS), Additional Chief Secretary (Finance, Personal, EST) to the GoHP –cum- Chairman, H.P. State Pollution Control Board. Senior functionaries from the various Departments of the State Government; Districts Administration; Urban Local Bodies; Representatives of Industries, Hotels & Medical Associations; and Media attended the workshop.

Sh. Prabodh Saxena, Additional Chief Secretary in his inaugural address emphasised the need for an effective enforcement of environmental regulations, failing which, it will render the laws ineffective in deterring violations. He further asserted that co-ordinated & consultative efforts, besides, sharing of good practices at every level would provide an opportunity in improving the compliance level of environmental Acts and Rules in the State.

He asserted that behaviour change is must for environmental conservation and called upon the regulators to be vigilant, strict and transparent in their actions. Keeping in view the educational, economic and awareness level of the people of the State, Himachal Pradesh has a potential to become model State in the country in the field of conservation of environment and effective impletion of environmental laws.

In his inaugural address, he pointed out that the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Govt. of India has re-visited the entire spectrum of waste Rules and revised the Regulations for management of all categories of waste such as Municipal Waste, Plastic Waste, E-Waste, Bio-medical Waste, Hazardous Waste, Construction and Demolition Waste. These new Regulatory Frameworks will transform the approach to manage all forms of waste and make a big difference in securing regulatory compliances. The Urban Local Bodies, which have a lot to do, have an important role in management of civic waste and they need to act fast and must fully utilize the technologies available for waste processing. Special efforts are required to improve ambient air quality of 7 non-attainment cities/towns, besides, mitigation of water pollution problem of 7 polluted river stretches, so that designated water quality of those rivers are restored.

He acclaimed the endeavours made by the State Board in organising “Samanvay-2021” and hoped that its outcome will show us the way forward to evolve a coordinated ‘Road Map’ for effective Implementation of Environmental Laws in the State. The State Board needs to take initiatives in organising similar stakeholder workshops at regional/district level, besides, awareness campaign by all departments present here in association with communities, NGOs, and other stakeholders to push for better implementation of environmental laws. He also emphasised that there is a need to focus on making pollution control & waste management a people’s movement and a way of life by taking the issues, concerns and management options to citizens at the grass-root level.

Sh. Apoorv Devgan (IAS), Member Secretary of the State Board in his welcome address outlined the objectives of the workshop ‘Samanvay -2021’ and pointed out that environmental regulations cast explicit duties of Industries, Urban Local Bodies, Health Care Institutions, District Administration, Government and Regulator. Therefore, coordinated efforts are must for achieving desired improvement in quality of environment and effective implementation of environmental laws. He also asserted that there will be no laxity in enforcement of environmental laws and violations, if any, shall be dealt strictly.

Experts from the State Board made detailed presentations on each subject matter of pollution control being regulated under various Acts/Rules and highlighted gaps in implementation of various provisions thereof.