“Maharashtra government is ambitiously moving towards an efficient and transparent administrative regime to address environmental pollution and I am very happy to inaugurate the State Environment Care Centre, which is the first of its kind in Maharashtra. The Centre is an online mechanism to monitor environment pollution in the state and provide alerts to industrial units that exceed their emission limits. In the coming days, we would leverage the IT infrastructure of the state administration and create a science-based environment policy. Harmonious co-existence of man and nature is the pre-requisite of a sustainable planet and my government would take all measures to attain it. Rulers of India, right from the days of Mahabharata to Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj laid great emphasis on preserving environment and we must take a leaf out of their best practices,” said Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra while inaugurating the 2-day Conference on Pathway Towards Formulation of Science-based Environment Policy for the State of Maharashtra. The Conference was organized jointly by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Department of Environment, Government of Maharashtra, Technogreen Environment Solutions and World Trade Center Mumbai at the WTC Complex on April 20-21, 2016. Shri Fadnavis also informed that the state government has so far made over 140 administrative services (including environmental services) online and by 2nd October 2016, the number of online services would rise to 250. Speaking on this occasion, Shri Ramdas Kadam, Minister of Environment, Government of Maharashtra, said the state government introduced online system for application of license renewal by the industry. “I hope the two-day conference would deliberate on effective ways to address environmental degradation and come out with suggestions for the proposed science-based environment policy of Maharashtra,” Shri Kadam added.
Ms. Malini Shankar, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Government of Maharashtra emphasized the importance of sustainable industrial development with minimal impact on environment. Referring to the digital governance initiatives of the Maharashtra government, Ms. Shankar said her ministry has already made industrial renewal application online and soon it would also make the processing of application online. As a move to improve the ease of doing business, the state environment ministry has extended the period of renewal of industrial license for industries (except for some critical industries). The state government is preparing a science-based and evidence-based environment policy with the help of a robust database. As a step in this direction, the government is taking efforts to map all the water bodies in Maharashtra. Dr. P. Anbalagan, Member Secretary, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board said the state government aims to draft a science-based environment policy by involving all the stakeholders including citizens in the policy making process. Consequently, the state government would introduce a mobile-based application where citizens can offer suggestions and knowledge inputs for the proposed policy, Dr. Anbalagan added.
Ms. Rupa Naik, Director(Projects), World Trade Center Mumbai said that “Strong environmental values and a firm commitment to sustainable development should be inculcated among each one of us. Creating awareness on zero wastage, water conservation, rainwater harvesting, saving electricity, ensuring cracker-free and chemical free colours during festivals are pre-requisites for a green planet. Each and every one of us can change the way we live to make the whole world and the environment a happy planet,” Ms. Rupa concluded.