The long felt need of the state to have a modern laboratory equipped with modern instruments and well trained man-power to keep track of the environment in the process of modernization with the rest of the world was fulfilled by the Nagaland Pollution Control Board (NPCB) in Signal Basti, Dimapur on Monday.
Minister of Forest, Ecology, Environment & Wild Life and Excise, M.C. Konyak while inaugurating the first office cum laboratory building expressed concern on the present climate change and said the laboratory was a step in the right direction and would play a significant role in mitigating the pollution levels in the environment developing our state in an eco-friendly manner.
He said that according to GoI notification no. S.O. 83 (E) issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 the State Pollution Control Boards has been empowered to inspect and collect samples for analysis and see that the emissions and effluents were within the prescribed limits, adding that in order in set up of industries and mining, hydel power, major irrigation and their combination including flood control, other projects required environment clearance under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
Konyak also called upon all to maintain pollution limits as prescribed by the GoI under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and meticulously follow rules framed while undertaking any developmental activities in the state, and further said that special emphasis must be given with regard to solid and biomedical wastes which have direct health implications.
While appealing that we adopt indigenous and traditional patterns of living by revering the earth and its life support system in this fast changing world, the minister said, we can make individual, community, national and even global choices with due consideration for the collective good for individual civil societies, government and other institutions.
Lamenting on climate change, M.C. Konyak said in the modern era, the naturally rising carbon dioxide levels were implicated as the primary cause of global warming since 1950’s, and according to the inter-governmental panel on climate change 2007, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide in 2005 was 379 ppm (parts per million) compared to the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm.
Konyak also said land degradation due to shifting cultivation, deforestation, urbanization, unplanned industrial development, landslides and water erosion were responsible for soil pollution while emission from vehicles and the burning during Jhum, waste and unplanned industrial growth creates air and noise pollution, water pollution from industrial effluents, domestic waste water, agrochemicals and fecal matter were responsible for pollution of surface and ground water.
He also urged for steps to be taken to reduce pollutions in daily activities and said that in Nagaland many villages have passed resolution to ban forest fires in order to preserve the flora and fauna, while others have banned hunting and fishing with chemicals.
Commenting on acute drinking water shortage in the state, and delay in sowing or non-germination of seeds due to drought, he said the government has taken steps to save the situation. While congratulating the staff, members of Nagaland Pollution Control Board and officers, he urged them to be more dedicated in their endeavor in making Nagaland a cleaner and healthier state.
Delivering a brief report on NPCB, Chairman NPCB A. Rongsenwati Ao, IFS stated a statutory body under the Department of Forest, Ecology, Environment & Wildlife, Government of Nagaland was constituted in 1991 under provisions of sub section (1) of section 4 of the water (Prevention and Control Pollution) Act 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981.
NPCB started functioning from March 2002 with the establishment of its office cum laboratory where analytical works are being carried out for air, water and soil samples and entrusted with implementations of acts, rules and notifications.
The responsibilities of the board are classified as plan comprehensive programme for prevention, control or abetment of pollution and to enforce environmental laws; advise the state government on matters concerning prevention and control of pollution; conduct and monitor environmental activities and research; create public awareness; and collection and dissemination of information relating to environmental matters.
NPCB is headed by chairman and members from secretary law and justice, department; director of industries; director of health services; chief engineer PWD; chief engineer, PHED; secretary, Indian Red Cross Society; president, Naga Mother’s Association; president, Chamber of Commerce and president, Nagaland Baptist Church Council. The chairman also stated that the new office cum laboratory building was constructed with a total expenditure of Rupees 65, 20,000 on 50:50 basis from MoEF and state share.
The inaugural function was attended by Abeio Kire, commissioner secretary Forests, Ecology, Environment and Wildlife and Excise Government of Nagaland deputy; chairperson Dimapur Municipal Council along with other council members, deputy chairperson Kohima Municipal Council and other council members and other dignitaries.