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MPCB calls for self-regulation

State environment department and pollution control board launch new initiatives to conserve the state’s green lungs

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the state environment department seems to have stepped up a gear this year, in a serious effort to save the city and the state’s green lungs. On the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, the two agencies came together in the city with almost the entire state cabinet in attendance, to highlight several ongoing as well as new projects and awards to help conserve the environment.

Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board
Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board officials with some awards that were given away yesterday

An MPCB spokesperson said the agency has been working on a ‘vision 2020’, which would focus on an inclusive eco-friendly development. Pointing out that the global theme for World Environment Day this year is Small Islands and Climate Change, MPCB officials said there was a need to encourage greater understanding to help protect small islands in the face of growing risks and vulnerabilities, particularly as a result of climate change.

“In support of the UN designation of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), this year we will adopt SIDS in the broader context of climate changes. We will organise clean-up campaigns, food waste reduction initiatives, walk-to-work days, ban on plastic bags, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, social media campaigns and different contests. Every action counts.” the spokesperson said.

Climate change
The state government has earlier announced the formation of a clean technology cell under MPCB, to streamline the efforts of various state government agencies in climate change initiatives. Elaborating on the project an MPCB spokesperson explained how traditional media was being used to popularise many of their initiatives, case in the point being the campaigns during the annual Pandharpur Yatra.

Millions of devotees visit Pandharpur for pilgrimages every July. The yatra begins from Dehu and Alandi in Pune to the Vithoba Temple at Pandharpur in Solapur district. MPCB uses this opportunity to create awareness about conserving environment among the masses. Messages for awareness are communicated through Maharashtrian traditional folk forms such as Bharud, Kirtan, Pravachan, Gan-Gavalan and Powada wherein the performing artiste try to create awareness among people in general by providing information on the ill-effects of pollution.

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