Chhattisgarh is making great strides in combating air and water pollution, managing solid waste and preserving its forest cover
The Chitrakote falls near Jagdalpur; Shutterstock
The extraction of mineral resources such as coal, iron ore and dolomite, of which Chhattisgarh is a major producer, has significantly boosted the state’s mineral-based industries and increased the incomes of the people. While this has exacerbated air and water pollution and posed solid waste management challenges, the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board (CESB) has been at the forefront of tackling the problem.
The government has set up 18 ambient air quality stations. Raipur, Bhilai and Korba, three large municipal companies most affected by air pollution, have developed micro-action plans under the National Clean Air Program. The average daily concentration of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the air has decreased by 37%, from 26.02 g / m3 in 2016 to 16.34 g / m3 in 2020. The daily concentration of nitrogen dioxide ( NO2) decreased by 17%, compared to 24.11 g / m3 to 19.88 g / m3 over the period.
The state has set up 27 water quality monitoring stations on seven major rivers as part of the National Water Quality Monitoring Program. They found the water quality of five major rivers – Kharun, Mahanadi, Hasdeo, Kelo and Shivnath – to be potable. 10 other stations are in the process of being put into service.
About six million of Chhattisgarh’s 28.8 million people reside in urban areas. Urban centers generate around 1,650 tonnes of solid waste every day. The government launched Mission Clean City statewide, building on the successful decentralized waste separation / recycling model in place at Ambikapur. There is a separate facility in the district of Balodabazar for the disposal of hazardous waste. Four biomedical waste treatment units are in the pipeline.
The state’s 41 percent forest cover acts as a greenhouse gas sink. It is mandatory that 30 percent of any industrial area be planted. According to the State of India’s Forest report, forest cover increased slightly from 41.12% to 41.14% of the area between 2015 and 2019.
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