District Environment Plan for Ernakulam soon

Ernakulam will soon have a District Environment Plan (DEP) that will enable local bodies and the district administration to set their own goals in environment management.

The plan is being formulated on the directive of the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi. Many States, including Kerala, have already overshot the deadline set by the tribunal for formulating district-wise plans.

The State Pollution Control Board (PCB) is coordinating preparations for drafting the DEP. It will map relevant information on seven thematic areas that include waste management (solid waste, biomedical waste, construction and demolition waste, hazardous waste, electronic waste, and plastic waste), water quality management, ambient air quality, domestic sewage, industrial wastewater, mining activity, and noise pollution.

The information has to be captured on data sheet by including basic details on 64 action areas, with around 200 data points required for preparing the DEP.

The government has to ensure that the plan includes all thematic points as per data templates formulated by the Central Pollution Control Board. The District Collector has to ascertain the drafting of time-bound action plans to resolve issues affecting the environment. The district-wise plans have to be integrated with the State Environment Plan.

The plan has to specify the current status of compliance with waste management rules, setting up of sewage treatment plants and re-use of treated water, performance of common effluent treatment plants, groundwater extraction and contamination, air pollution (including noise pollution), illegal sand mining, and rejuvenation of waterbodies.

Local bodies and the district administration have to set their own targets to achieve the desired environmental quality. The DEP is intended as a quick reference for personnel of the district administration to identify key environmental issues, prioritise projects, and strategize and plan them for implementation. The report will also help regulators monitor compliance and will be structured to allow updates and monitoring at the State level.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 8:03:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/district-environment-plan-for-ernakulam-soon/article36652690.ece

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