Karnataka among top in pollution control: CPC report

In contrast, state lags in municipal waste collection and ranks 34

 Karnataka is one among the top performers in the country in effective enforcement of pollution control norms, according to a study report of Central Planning Commission (CPC). The state is top performer in air pollution controlling and in implementing hazardous waste rules and batteries rules.

However, Karnataka is a bottom performer in implementing Municipal Solid Waste rules, the report says.

The facts were revealed in a study conducted by Planning Commission to identify successful models of implementation of environmental policies and programmes in states and union territories. The study was carried out for the Planning Commission by an environmental safety study agency known as ‘Prestels’.

The report says that Karnataka, along with other industrial states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkand, is relatively better than other lesser industrialised states in enforcing the pollution control norms. The report also says that Karnataka has one of the successful pollution control models and is proactive in initiating enforcement of the Batteries rules. In India, out of the 88 industrial clusters, 43 are critically polluted and 33 are severely polluted, the report says.

The study and the ranking of the states are based on the EPI (Environmental Performance Index) and CPEI (Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index) indices formulated by the Planning Commission.

In the Air EPI score, Karnataka ranks 5th with 0.91 score. Kerala, Goa, Pondicherry and Mizoram share the first rank in this category with 1 point each, whereas the average performance across states is 0.826.

But in the Water EPI, the state ranks 13 with 0.5353 score, which is also the national average score. Himachal Pradesh tops the list in this category with 0.7561 EPI score. Delhi is the last in the list of Water EPI with 0.30 score.

Poor in waste collection

Karnataka ranks 11 with 0.67 score in the waste EPI where as the national average is 0.584. In treatment efficiency of hazardous waste, Karnataka ranks fifth, along with Chandigarh, Haryana, Pondicherry and West Bengal. However, in the efficiency in Municipal waste collection and treating bio-medical wastes, the state’s condition is poor. Karnataka is on the bottom level and ranks 34 among the states and union territories, just above Kerala, in Municipal waste collection efficiency. In bio-medical waste treatment, the state finds its position at 19, the report says.

All praise for KSPCB

The Planning Commission report hails the effort of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) in enforcing the laws and observes as one of the successful model for implementation. It says, “KPCB has constituted sector specific bodies such as biodiversity board, lake development authority and district coastal zone authority. This organizational structure has lead to better management of pollution control.”

Kudos to political will

The Central agency report also praises the political will in the state to implement the laws. “Karnataka board has been successful in organisational changes by establishing district level coastal zone management offices, which may not have been possible without political support,” it says. “Karnataka also has a mining policy which imposes cess on mining. The question whetherthe cess is enough or not is secondary to the fact that the political scenario in Karnataka resulted in such a policy,” observes the Planning Commission report.

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