The final Climate Change Action Plan of Orissa which got the nod of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently envisages action to be taken on 303 points for fine tuning the ideal balance between industrialization and environment protection.
Meanwhile, work has already begun on 140 out of the 303 action points. A special cell will be created within the state forest & environment department to oversee the implementation of the plan.
Besides, a core advisory group will be constituted under the chairmanship of the state Chief Secretary B K Patnaik to work out the modalities of plan implementation. The group will have representatives of line departments as well as NGOs (non-governmental organizations) as its members.
The plan implementation involves an expenditure of around Rs 17,000 crore, said Bhagirathi Behera, director (environment). Orissa is the first state to prepare the Climate Change Action Plan. The Action Plan is expected to help the state to move towards a carbon conscious and climate resilient state.
It may be noted that the state chief minister had constituted a high-level coordination committee headed by the Chief Secretary to steer the preparation of the draft Action Plan. Eleven working groups were constituted on agriculture, coastal zones and disasters, energy, fisheries and animal resources, forestry, health, industry, mining, transport, urban planning and water resources.
For agriculture, the Action Plan has suggested a climate friendly agriculture policy for the state, capacity building to cope with climate change, people centric watershed development programmes, developing water efficient micro irrigation methods as well as improving monitoring and surveillance techniques.
Other key priorities in the sector are developing sustainable soil, water and crop management practices, increasing the ares under perennial fruit plantation to help cope with uncertain weather patterns and undertaking more research on agricultural implications of climate change.
Similarly for industries, the key priorities are setting medium-term emission targets for the thermal power plants, promoting the use of bulk waste material like fly ash and slag, implement a system of compensatory water harvesting at the industrial clusters, integrating climate change concerns in policies and plans for industrial development, carrying out heat island study for Talcher and Jharsuguda area, training various stakeholders on climate change issues and carrying out energy efficiency study for iron and steel, thermal power, aluminium and cement sectors.
In the energy sector, the Action Plan has prioritized on generating cleaner energy through clean coal approaches, reduction of transmission and distribution losses, fly ash utilization and emission reduction from power plants, promotion of small and medium hydel plants, promotion of grid based wind power generation and harness biomass potential.