Pollution Control Board Assam Website Exposes Govt Callousness On Environment
GUWAHATI: At a time when the toxic air level in country’s capital New Delhi are making headlines across the world and laid bare the policy paralysis to counter it, the sorry state of affairs in Pollution Control Board of Assam shows how policy makers are showing scant regards to the environmental pollution which threatens to engulf us all if not checked on time.
Sample this: The website of Pollution Control Board of Assam, which proudly lists out digitally all the government policies like single window clearance, effective monitoring mechanism, boasting in bold letters Ease of Doing Business. In its section of key officials-the Chairman name has been given as Er Hemanta Kumar Gogoi who has already retired and many members of the board listed in the key officials list have also been relieved of their duties long back.
But their names being still present in the PCB website with their designation speaks volumes of about the seriousness of our policy makers and politicians about controlling environmental hazards.
Actually, the new chairman is Suryanarayana, IFS. Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Assam, who is also the chief conservator of forests. His name finds mention in another section in the website. It’s a case of clear confusion and callousness on the part of the authorities.
Another point to be noted that in the internet there are two websites available in the domain name Pollution Control Board of Assam (pic given) which gives completely different set of information regarding the board.
The latest information available in one of the website about air quality index of Assam was of 2015 where PCB states that it is as a part of its regular activity of dissemination of data on environmental status of the state of Assam.
If the case is so, than what about the about the air quality index during the period 2016-2019. There is no data available anywhere.
All the efforts to contact the chairman Suryanarayana, PCB failed as he did not reply to repeated calls and SMS.
AQI is a tool for effective communication of air quality status to people, transforms complex air quality data of various pollutants into a single number (index value), nomenclature and colour. CPCB the air quality has been categorized in following categories: Good (0-50) Minimal Impact Poor (201-300) Breathing discomfort to people on prolonged exposure Satisfactory (51-100) Minor breathing discomfort to sensitive people Very Poor (301-400) Respiratory illness to the people on prolonged exposure Moderate (101-200) Breathing discomfort to the people with lung, heart disease, children and older adults Severe (>401) Respiratory effects even on healthy people.
In Assam according to 2015 AQI index, Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Daranga, Guwahati, Lakhimpur, Margherita, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Silchar, Tezpur and Tinsukia of Assam for the year 2014 were in good.
Whereas in Golaghat, Daranga, Guwahati, Lakhimpur, Margherita, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Silchar, Tezpur and Tinsukia it was found in the category of ‘satisfactory’ (51-100).
It is significant to note that during the year AQI in all the selected city/towns/localities was found either in ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’ category.