Saturday, November 27, 2004

City pollution: SC panel gives state four months

City pollution: SC panel gives state four months
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The State Government has been given a four-month deadline to keep pollution in Bangalore city under check. A Supreme Court authorised committee, which was here in the city on Thursday, met all officials concerned and secured an undertaking to that effect.

Following the SC notice to the State on the alarming pollution levels in the city, an Environment Protection Committee took stock of the progress in the Action Plan for Bangalore which was drawn up last January. Committee chairman Bhure Lal and member Sunita Narayan, director, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) were briefed by officials at the meeting.

‘‘Monitoring of pollution in the city, implementing the Pollution Under Control (PCU) system with the inclusion of new norms set by the Union Government, upgrading public transport, LPG conversion and fuel adulteration were the core areas of discussion,’’ Narayan told this website’s newspaper.

‘‘Both the parties have agreed upon a deadline of March 31, 2005 for the final monitoring of pollution measures. The State Government has been asked to complete the upgradation and augmentation of the public transport system by then,’’ she said.

‘‘We have asked the Government to come up with a plan to increase dependence on the public transport system. It has also been asked to explore with manufacturers the implementation of LPG and Euro-III technology,’’ she said. ‘‘Oil companies have been advised to ensure adequate supply of LPG for autorickshaws to enhance fuel conversion programme.’’

Commenting on steps taken by Karnataka so far, Narayan said the committee was not satisfied. ‘‘But the city is heading in the right direction,’’ she felt.

‘‘The Government is making some efforts to control fuel adulteration. But we are keen to see that they are stepped up,’’ she said.

‘‘Though the police here are doing well, we feel that there should be a strict check on visible emission. We have recommended the spot cancellation of fitness certificate in case of public vehicles and a fine of Rs. 1,000 for private vehicles emitting high levels of smoke,’’ she added.

Principal Secretary, Ecology, Environment and Forest, Principal Secretary, Home and Transport, Transport Commissioner, Chairman, Pollution Control Board (PCB), Member Secretary, PCB, Secretary, Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Corporation and representatives of major oil companies took part in the meeting.


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