Northeast Green Summit plan to fight pollution
An action plan to fight pollution, implement environmental practices and laws and provide environmental services for better living conditions was drawn at the Northeast Green Summit, organised by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board, held here recently.
“Urban areas in the Northeast are developing at a fast rate. Depletion of natural resources, scarcity of safe water, increased air pollution, and adverse effects of climate change are among the main threats that urban administrators will have to cope with as a consequence of this rapid urbanisation,” the preface to the action plan said.
Several experts and NGOs, including the International Institute of Waste Management, Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group and Centre for Science and Environment, attended the summit.
The event also noted that the contribution of forests to the livelihood and well-being of urban communities is still far from being fully exploited. This is mainly owing to lack of knowledge, expertise and information sharing on the issue, both at regional and national levels.
The summit came up with the regional plan to implement environmental practices and laws, urban and semi-urban forestry in the region, and providing environmental services.
The plan envisages cleaner air for the urban areas. To achieve the target, it moots strict implementation of regulations to control air pollution.
The plan also envisages identification of areas where air pollution is high, and to draw an action plan to control it.
It puts forth the idea of setting up of more air-monitoring stations across the region.
The summit decided that technical know-how and knowledge sharing will be carried out with the Himachal State Pollution Control Board to curb air pollution.
A suggestion would be made to the government to take stringent action against vehicles which violate the prescribed norms.
For cleaner water in the urban areas, the plan aims at making cities and towns open defecation-free.
Experts were of the view that the possibilities of having decentralised sewage treatment plants in the Northeast are to be identified and should be implemented.
The northeastern states pollution control boards will work with the Union ministry of environment and forest and the state government to hire more technical and legal staff.
The plan suggested encouraging decentralised waste management such as composting at ward level, changes in bylaws for fines and penalties over non-compliance of solid waste management rules and identifying facilities for scientific management of biomedical, plastic and e-waste.
While the Northeast Green Summit Action Plan will be a continuous process, the plan stated that some of the outcomes are expected to be achieved within two years.