Fighting against POLLUTION to Save Environment

Note on achievements of the Board (Summary 0f 2003 – 2007)

Dr. Dilip B. Boralkar worked as Member Secretary (Chief Executive Officer) of MPCB during November 2003 to May 2007. He was on deputation to the State Government from Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi. This note is prepared to present achievements of the Board during the tenure of Dr. Boralkar as Member Secretary. (Data Subject to varification)

  1. Over a period of time, due to various enactments and rules under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Board has been charged with several responsibilities covering all kinds of environmental media (such as water, air, noise); wastes and solid wastes (such as municipal solid wastes, hazardous wastes, bio-medical waste, plastic wastes, etc.).

  2. Enforcement and regulation activities of the Board are science and technology based. It requires multidisciplinary approach and matching internal capacity for effective functioning. Despite limited human resources, we stretched to the maximum so as to fulfil our responsibilities up to a good extent by adopting innovative methods in environmental administration such as public-private partnership, technology demonstrations, information disclosure, awareness raising and empowerment of people. Further by practicing judicious outsourcing, decentralizing and rationalizing internal procedures and revamping the organisational structure, the Board has significantly improved its functional efficiency.

  3. Quick disposal of Consents and friendly regulatory system facilitating the compliance of environmental standards is also one of the important factors in attracting investments in the State. As a result of steps taken by the Board, there is wide spread appreciation by the industry and project proponents/investors.

  4. Efforts and actions taken by the Board were visible and perceptible in the field. We have seen decline in number of public complaints and assembly questions on pollution. The improvement in operation and maintenance of effluent treatment plants (common and individual) has resulted in reduction of waste water discharge in to the environment. This is also adds to the better compliance of environmental standards by the industries.

  5. While we succeeded in reducing pollution we also made concerted efforts in increasing revenue income of the Board. This was possible due to extra out reach campaign and better recovery of dues and taxes. A magic figure of Rs. 100 Cr. has been crossed in revenue income this year. We got Rs. 106 Cr. this year. Three years back this figure was just a meagre Rs. 22 Cr.

  6. The remarkable performance of the Board was possible due to strong and coherent team work by scientists and engineers of the Board. Measures were introduced for strict administrative discipline, welfare programs for the staff, training in India and abroad, appreciation of good work, intolerance of lethargy and increased sensitivity to the public needs.

  7. Efforts were made to strengthen the infrastructure laboratories. Regional Laboratories at Aurangabad, Pune, Nasik, and Nagpur were upgraded. Construction of new building of Central Laboratory “Nirmal Bhavan” was completed 4 months ahead of schedule and at a reduced cost by 1.75 Cr. than the sanctioned amount. Laying of Foundation Stone and Inauguration of the building was done by Hon’ble Shri Sharad Pawar.

  8. New vehicles were purchased for increased facilities for rapid transport. Sufficient field instruments and equipment were provided to all offices and laboratories for environmental surveillance and monitoring. This has helped in achieving proper operation and maintenance of pollution control and monitoring systems

  9. Demonstration projects regarding prevention and control of pollution were completed at Ambad (Jalna), Navapur (Nandurbaar) and Sonpeth (Parbhani) for management of municipal solid wastes. New projects were taken up in this year (e.g. Shani Shingnapur for Plastic and solid waste management). Project on environmental improvement at Alandi is in advanced stage to be taken up. MoU has been signed with Collector, Pune. We have committed technical guidance and financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 3 Cr.

  10. Introduced more transparency in Board’s operations and enhanced information dissemination through print & electronic media as well as website of the Board. Popularity of the Board’s website is tremendous. It is learnt that even President of India is regular visitor to our website.

  11. Maharashtra has coastline of about 720 km. There are about 18 prominent estuaries along the coast. They receive untreated or partly treated domestic waste water. In order to assess the impact of coastal discharges and to study the structure and function of coastal ecosystem, this year we have started the work in collaboration with National Institute of Oceanography (NIO). First part of survey is in progress. This covers cover 18 estuaries from Tarapur to Ratnagiri.

  12. Hospitals (with 10 beds or more) in the State of Maharashtra have been identified initially are 10,672, for enforcement of Bio-Medical Wastes (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998. Only 1600 units were covered by the Board in till the year 2003-2004. In last three years the coverage has increased up to 8639 units. 34 common facilities are made operational in the State making the State as number one in this area.

  13. Mumbai and Pune area is one of largest in terms of generation of electronic wastes. The Board has completed assessment study to quantify the waste generated and present mode of disposal. The study was sponsored by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and provided financial assistance of US $12000. The report also covers technical feasibility of setting up of a facility for collection and recycling of e-waste.

  14. The Supreme Court appointed Monitoring Committee for effective implementation of hazardous waste management rules. Board has complied with the orders of the Court. More than 4 lacs MT of hazardous wastes has been removed from the industries and disposed in a scientific manner at a facility created at Taloja (Raigad Dist.) on PPP basis. In situ treatment and disposal of HW dump (about 2 ac MT) at Tarapur has been completed. Supreme Court Monitoring Committee has appreciated the work done by MPCB vide their letters addressed to the Chief Secretary of the State.

  15. All major cities and industrial clusters are covered in the air quality monitoring network in the State. For this purpose, 79 air quality monitoring stations are operational as against 29 in the year 2003-04. Air quality data is published regularly and also posted on the website of MPCB.

  16. Board has embarked upon a widespread program on regular monitoring of drinking water sources in the State. The total number of water quality monitoring stations now is 394 as against 48 during the year 2003-04. Water quality data is published regularly and also posted on the website of the Board. MPCB is the only Board in the country having such comprehensive water quality monitoring program.

  17. For the first time in India, we have developed software for keeping a track on the hazardous waste generating units in the Maharashtra and for issuing/ amending the authorization online to the industries. The system is web based database application with three objectives viz. updating of the inventory of Hazardous wastes, provide online access to the inventory, provide various search facilities to the users based on various search criteria, enable monitoring of HW disposal through online filing of the annual returns as per Rules, 2003.

  18. Area specific action plans for control of pollution at Pune, Solapur, Mumbai, Kolhapur and Chandrapur have been prepared. We are making concerted efforts to bring down the pollution in these cities and surroundings areas systematically over a period of time.

  19. Summary of achievements is given in Table 1 to 4.