|7th Five Year Plan (Vol-2)||<< Back to Index|
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
18.1 In the Approach Paper to the Seventh Plan it has been stated: 'India is fortunate in the richness of its natural resources..... the abundance and diversity of its living resources. Adequately managed, these and other resources can meet high levels of material needs, now and for all times to come. The degree to which a nation can prosper depends on its productivity, which is the efficiency with which it is able to utilise the resources of the environment to satisfy human needs and expectations. If the gains in productivity are to be sustained, resources must also continue to be available over time. This requires that, while providing for current needs, the resources base be managed so as to enable sustainable development'. The basic approach to the Seventh Plan would thus be sustainable development in harmony with the environment. Towards this end, it would have to be ensured that all development programmes, in all sectors, will take environmental considerations fully into account.
18.2 The problems encountered in the field of environment in India arise due to conditions of poverty and underdevelopment as also the negative effects of development programmes which have been badly planned or badly implemented. The whole planning process is aimed at development and the removal of poverty. The need to improve the conditions of our people is pressing;under this pressure many concerned with developmental activities lose sight of environmental and ecological imperatives. Realisation concerning these aspects has been with us for only a relatively short period of time, about a decade and half. The demage being done to the environment, because of the large size of the population and its increase, and scale of developmental activities, is of such magnitude that urgent remedial measures are called for. Official and voluntary agencies must work together to create the needed awareness; indeed, environment is all-pervasive, and the success of our efforts in this area will ultimately call for the involvement of the entire population at all levels. This is a philosophy which must permeate the entire effort in the field of environment.
18.3 Environmental management, a term encompassing environmental planning, protection, monitoring, assessment, research, education, conservation and sustainable use of resources, is now accepted as a major guiding factor for national development in India. From the early seventies, India has played a significant role at international forums in delineating and articulating the relevance of environmental concerns in the context of economic development. There has been, over the last decade, a progressive strengthening of official involvement in environmental management in India, with increased scientific, technical, administrative and legislative backup at the Central and State levels.
18.4 With the realisation that poverty and the state of underdevelopment led to many of the environmental problems that confronted the nation, came the understanding that it was more rapid development which was the best approach. This development has to benefit people (and particularly the poor) by providing for their basic human needs and rising aspirations. Thus, many of the developmental programmes, and particularly those included in the 20-Point Programme, could indeed be termed as environmental management programmes.
18.5 However, another class of environmental problems have arisen as unintended side-effects of the very attempts at development. These had to do with the mismanagement of natural resources, large-scale deforestation, the unplanned discharge of residues and wastes, the handling of toxic chemicals, indiscriminate construction and expansion of settlement activities, etc. It is to this class of problems that the tools and methodologies of environmental planning are primarily addressed.
Review of Progress
18.6 It is now being increasingly recognised that environmental factors and ecological imperatives must be built in to the total planning process if the long-term goal of making development sustainable is to be achieved. To provide greater systematic impetus and focus to environmental issues at the Central and State level, new organisational structures have been created. The Government of India set up a Department of Environment in the Sixth Plan. The State/UT Government were also asked to set up structures which could act as focal points for enviorn-mental considerations in the State Plans; the Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have set up appropriate structures. A number of Ministries/Departments of the Government of India now go into environmental considerations in some detail in their major developmental programmes.
18.7 Major activities in the area of environment on which work was initiated or stepped up during the Sixth Plan included: water and air pollution monitoring and control; environmental impact assessment; natural living resource conservation; special projects on wildlife; ecological studies by the Botanical and Zoological Surveys of India; eco-development programmes; environmental research promotion; and environmental information, education, training and awareness.
18.8 A country-wide rapid inventory on pollution from large and medium industries has been prepared. A programme on Control of Pollution at Source has been initiated. Minimal National Standards for polluting discharges from specific industries were formulated and control measures implemented in a progressively stringent manner. About 30 per cent of large and medium industries of the country have installed pollution control equipment. A network of about 120 monitoring stations to check water pollution has been created. Zoning and classification of all the 14 major inter-State rivers have been completed to provide a basis for water quality management. A river basin wise inventory for Yamuna and Ganga has been prepared to assess pollution load.
18.9 'Project Tiger', a Centrally sponsored scheme was an outstanding success in terms of management; it evolved from a species protection programme to one envisaging protection of the total habitat. The establishment and development of the Wild Life Institute of India and strengthening of programmes within the National Zoological Park (which included breeding of endangered species of wild mammals such as lion-tailed macaque, brow-antlered deer, etc.) received great impetus. A 12-point strategy was adopted by India for Wild Life protection and development in October, 1983, to provide the basis for future plans of Wild Life management.
18.10 The Forest Survey of India is preparing a national vegetation map using remote sensing and ground survey methods.
18.11 Preparatory work has been done for setting up Biosphere Reserves in a few carefully selected and identified areas which have enormous pristine, genetic diversities, for example, Nilgiri, Namdapha, Nanda Devi and Uttarakhand.
18.12 A major traditional weakness of forestry, wild life and other sectors in the area of environment is the poor S&T inputs. To rectify this, the work of the premier survey organisations, namely, the Botanical and Zoological Surveys of India, has been oriented to take into account holistic eco-system management imperatives. Environmental monitoring centres at Calcutta and Madras have been established to study the impact on living resoruces of developmental activities such as hydro-electric and irrigation projects. The plant and animal resouces have been surveyed at important sites such as those to be designated as biosphere reserves or hitherto unexplored or under-explored areas.
18.13 Some major field action projects on Eco-development were farmed out to voluntary organisations in the Shivalik Foothills (Punjab), Joshimath and Dasoli areas of Chamoli District of UP, Haldighati in Rajasthan and Auroville in Pondicherry. Eco-development Task Forces consisting of ex-servicemen were deployed for activities such as revegetation of degraded areas, soil conservation work, eradication of weeds, etc. The Eco-development programme is designed to generate public participations in the solution of environmental problems and broadening general environmental awareness, particularly through the involvement of students and voluntary agencies.
18.14 In order to promote environmental research, nearly 400 research projects have been sanctioned to universities, R&D institutions and non-governmental agencies. Coordinated, multi-institutional projects in priority areas of heavy metals, microbial degradation of industrial wastes and ethnobiology have been take up; as also a multi-agency post-audit environmental monitoring of the Idukki multi-purpose river valley project. Research relevant to the integrated development of the Western Ghats, Himalayan region and the Ganga basin has also been initiated. One centre of Excellence has been set up at HSc, Bangalore which has, as its primary focus, research on problems of the Western Ghats.
18.15 A computerised Environmental Information System (ENVIS) with a network of distributed information centres all over the country, has been started; information relevant to pollution control, toxic chemicals, mining, forestry, flora and fauna are the important subjects covered under this. A variety of 'information products' have been prepared including a directory of nongovernmental organisations in the field of environment.
18.16 A broad range of programmes on environmental education, training and awareness were launched; workshops were organised in different parts of the country and nation-wide celebrations were organised on World Environment Day and during Wild Life Week. The first National Environmental Congress and the first National Conference of Legislators on Environment were also held as part of the awareness building programme. The National Museum of Natural History has been playing an important role in imparting environmental education to a wide spectrum of society with particular emphasis on childern.
18.17 Environmental considerations in the planning process and in the implementation of national development strategies must be based on an understanding of the following issues and responsibilities:
Basic Policies Relating to Aspects of Implementatloin
18.18 The experience with environmental manage ment so far emphasises two facts. First, that environmen tal issues and problems arise in virtually every sector c the economy, and at every level of society. Second, tha sustainable solutions for problems that manifest them selves in one sector may not apply in other sectors Environmental issues have no administrative, socio cultural or political boundaries. Therefore, the initiative;for tackling environmental issues must emerge fron official as well as non-official agencies and individuals operating at different levels. Success in achieving en vironmentally sound development will depend greatly or the extent of co-operation that can be achieved betweer Government (Central, State, Local), its subsidiary agen cies, voluntary groups, financial institutions, corporate groups in the public and private sectors, educational anc research bodies, professional societies, religious anc cultural institutions, etc.
18.19 The Seventh Plan programmes will attempt tc remove some of the weaknesses in the existing environmental planning system. Given the close linkages between different subject areas relating to the environment it is difficult, and often counter-productive, to assigr absolute priorities, in the sense of an "order of importance", to these areas.
18.20 For a variety of basic economic activities, high priority would have to be given to the management o1 natural living resources; but these cannot be managed without attention to land and water management. Again, measures to control the growing livestock population are vital for purposeful environmental management but these come under the jurisdiction of authorities different from those who manage other natural living resources (flora and faunaparticularly economic plants, forests, wildlife, fisheries, etc.). Viewed from another perspective, environmental issues relating to human settlements (shelter, potable water supply, waterborne diseases, slums, etc.) deserve very high priority in any agenda of environmental tasks. Therefore, each agency, institution or group must formulate its own priorities for action, among the spectrum of environmental management issues, based upon its own direct responsibilities and capabilities. Environmental authorities such as the Department of Environment will deal with those subject areas for which they have been assigned direct managerial responsibility, e.g., pollution monitoring and control, environmental research and development, etc. The direct goals relating to the subject of environment as a whole would be:
18.21 The existing framework of institutions which can contribute to the multidisciplinary and multisectoral approaches required for effective environmental management would be fully used. Apart from the large S&T infrastructure under the Central and State Governments in the form of scientific agencies/departments/national laboratories, etc. and educational institutions, full cooperation will be sought from more than 200 nongovernmental organisations or voluntary agencies working in the field.
18.22 Environmental Programmes were taken up during the Sixth Plan period more in the form of nucleating activities. These would now have to receive a greater impetus in terms of investment and even more through coordinated, expeditious implementation strategies during the Seventh Plan period. Salient programmes to be undertaken, including the thrust areas, are outlined below:
Pollution Monitoring and Control
18.23 Environmental pollution is a serious and growing hazard in India. Its impact on human health and well being is both direct, (e.g., inhalation of polluted air and intake of contaminated water), or indirect, by its impact on the health of environmental resources (loss of soil fertility, corrosion of structures, death of aquatic life, etc.). Waterborne pollution, from both community and industrial sources, is probably the most important health hazard in India. A large part of the population has to depend upon untreated or inadequately treated water supplies. In the sector of industrial pollution, while the medium and large industries can be induced to enforce pollution control, the problem becomes almost intractable for the vast numbers of small industries that have proliferated unplanned in many parts of the country. Pollution of the environment from noise, both at the community level and in the industrial work place, is another serious threat to human welfare. Pollution in the costal zone, resulting in the destruction of valuable living natural and marine resources, and spoiling of tourist attractions like beaches is now attracting growing attention.
18.24 The Central Board for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution spearheads the effort at systematically tackling pollution problems in the country. The basic tasks before the Board are: assessment and control of air pollution; assessment and control of coastal pollution;development of professional expertise and trained manpower; development of cost-effective technologies for air and water pollution control; and strengthening the institutional R&D support for pollution monitoring and control.
18.25 In order to deal with the pollution problems of far flung Union Territories that are directly under the charge of the Board, as well as to coordinate and support the pollution monitoring and control activities of State Boards, the Central Board has an ongoing programme to establish Regional Organisations. Three of these were set up during the Sixth Plan. These will be strengthened with additional manpower, equipment and inrfastructural facilities in the Seventh Plan.
18.26 The availability of modern, well equipped laboratories is essential for executing pollution monitoring and control programmes that include regulatory functions. These will be developed both at the Central and State levels.
18.27 The development of trained manpower for air and water pollution control at various levels is another major responsibility of the Central Board. This will have to be accomplished by a series of nation-wide short and long term courses in the field, supplemented by training and experience overseas for specialised funcations.
18.28 The National River Water Quality Monitoring stations will be strengthened and their number increased as necessary. The River Basin and Sub-Basin Inventory programme will cover seven more river basins in the forthcoming Plan period. Classification and Zoning already completed during the Sixth Plan period will be updated.
18.29 Other programmes of the Central Board are those for: control of pollution at source; development of water quality criteria, standards, regulations and R&D; preparation of Comprehensive industry documents; and laying down of Minimal National Standards for polluting discharges from specific industries.
18.30 Under the programme for air pollution monitoring and control, the Board proposes to establish an Ambient Air Quality Network in some selected cities. Capabilities for Stack Monitoring and Auto exhaust Mointoring are to be developed. It would be ensured that in respect of the thermal power projects, having major polluting industries near their proposed sites, specific parameters would be evolved for Environmental Impact Assessment. Provision of a green belt in the waste disposal area to trap air-borne particles and other solids would also be ensured. In the operational plans of the major thermal power projects and industrial projects, Environmental Management plan would be in-built.
18.31 It is proposed to systematically study opportunities for cost effective recovery of valuable by-products from pollution effluents and develop (scale up) the relevant technologies and processes. This will be done through a network of projects and programmes relating to Waste Recycling.
18.32 A major programme relating to the Prevention of Coastal Pollution is to be initiated. The pollution impact on biological resources will be carefully analysed, and realistic measures taken for their protection. The present Marine Biological station of the Zoological Survey of India at Madras will be suitably strengthened. In addition, collaborative programmes will be initiated with the Department of Ocean Development, the National Institute of Oceanography and other relevant agencies.
18.33 A special programme is to be initiated for Control of Hazardous Substances (chemical and microbial) used in the country or imported for various purposes (i.e., for agriculture, industry, etc.). The objective is to bring out comprehensive legislation on hazardous materials. It is proposed to create a suitable structure to work out management plans for regulating the import/use/ containment/safe disposal of these materials to minimise adverse environmental consequences. This will also involve the development of codes for handling, packaging, shipping and disposal of toxic materials and creating awareness on these issues.
18.34 A major programme on Prevention of Pollution of Ganga would be undertaken as a S&T mission in the Seventh Plan. A central Ganga Authority has been set up under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister. This is an interdisciplinary and inter-ministerial programme, involving the participation of DOEn, DNES, Ministry of Works and Housing and Ministry of Agriculture. The major efforts would be to modernise and augment the existing sewage treatment plants and also to set up new plants wherever none exist. The three major involved States, viz., UP, Bihar and West Bengal would also be actively participating in this. It is proposed to make the system cost-effective and economically viable by producing energy from sewage and sale of treated water for irrigation, algae production and pisciculture. For this, the technological inputs would be provided by the concerned scientific organisations.
Environmental Impact Assessment
18.35 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an exercise to evaluate the potential of a project, a programme or even a piece of legislation, which may cause damage to the environment. It is proposed to induce all socio-economic ministries/departments/agencies, whose projects impinge on environmental quality, to establish Technical Cells for Environmental Assessment. The Cells would ensure that project authorities carry out the basic exercise of EIA for each project at the stage of preparing feasibility reports; consultancy organisations such as EIL, MECON, and others would have to be associated. The Department of Environment would oversee approval of projects from the environmental angle, monitor compliance with conditions laid down at the time of scrutiny, and systematically document EIA related experience and information. For this, it is proposed to set up appropriate structures. Its main functions would be: training programmes; documenting and disseminating information; conducting Case Studies involving complex appraisals to generate the necessary guidelines and experience for EIA; and building up nation-wide expertise among various non-governmental organisations and consultancy groups who would assist project authorities in making environmental assessment.
18.36 Data regarding trends in environmental quality would emerge from the monitoring of selected indicators such as extent of forest cover, extent of wasteland, rate of desertification, rate of change in population of endangered species, number of municipalities adequately treating effluents, pesticide residues in water bodies, incidence of acid rain, destruction of fertile land through urbanisation, etc. Much of this information will be generated under various sectoral programmes such as pollution control, etc. But the need for an umbrella structure such as a National Environmental Monitoring Organisation (NEMO) is clear, if environment related information from each sector is to be synthesised into a supporting framework for environmental impact assessment. The actual data storage and dissemination would be carried out under the computerised Environmental Information System (EN-VIS). NEMO would have to use the professional expertise and infrastructure within the IITs, Universities, the various Surveys and other governmental and non-governmental organisations.
Natural Living Resources Conservation
18.37 There has been lack of adequate inputs of S&T in the natural living resources conservation programmes. This weakness will now be sought to be rectified through reorientation and strengthening of the work of the Botanical and Zoological Surveys of India (BSI, ZSI), and through the Man and Biosphere Research Programme, with particular emphasis on ecosystems approach. Traditionally, BSI and ZSI have been concerned with higher forms of life. Lower plants and animals, including micro-organisms (bacteria and fungi), though very important in ecosystem considerations, have not received due attention. In the Seventh Plan, work would be initiated in these gap areas. Apart from taxonomic investigations and publication of Flora and Fauna of India, BSI and ZSI will take up joint programmes for Survey of Living Resources and Ecological Mapping in collaboration with NRSA and related agencies. Intensive studies will be undertaken for ecosystem analysis of Conservation Areas like Tiger Reserves, Biosphere Reserves, National Parks and selected sanctuaries, for their actual biological content which needs to be conserved.
18.38 Programmes will be taken up on modernisation of taxonomic research and organising Biosystematic Centres using computerised facilities and involving multi-disciplinary approaches like cytogenetical, phytochemical, biochemical, ultrastructural, and other experimental techniques. BSI will prepare chromosome, pollen and seed atlases of Indian plants, while ZSI will prepare chromosome atlas of animal species, furatlases of fur animals and atlases of diagnostic morphological characteristics involving some important groups of wild animals of economic value such as turtles, snakes, large lizards, frogs, crabs, mussels, prawns, butterflies, etc.
18.39 BSI would organise at least four Seed Banks of Non-Agricultural Economic Plants (at present collected from the wild and which are under threat), as also Tissue Banks of Endangered/Threatened Species of Plants. These banks would be backed by All India Coordinated Projects (AICP) on Seed Biology and Tissue Culture as conservation techniques. ZSI will take up a major project on Butterfly Farming. Preparation of Red Data Books of Threatened/Endangered Plants and Animals will be an important programme of BSI and ZSI. Work related to identification and inventorisation of Less known Economic Plants and Animal Species as also Species-oriented Ecological Studies and identification of Pollution Resistant Plants will receive priority.
18.40 The university system will be involved in the foregoing programmes, as also for preparing Flora and Fauna of Biogeographically Critical Districts.
18.41 BSI will augment the activities of the Indian Botanical Garden, Industrial Section of Indian Museum as also Regional Centres and Musea. Similarly the Central National Herbarium and Regional Herbaria would be suitably strengthened. BSI will prepare an inventory of Botanic Gardens, Herbaria and Musea in the Country, with a view to organising these into a grid; and utilise information from these as a data base in a Central Computerised system. BSI will also propose sites for National Botanical Gardens, including one at Delhi. ZSI will form similar grids of Zoological Collections and Musea. Apart from the Marine Aquarium-cum-Research Centre at Digha, West Bengal, ZSI in collaboration with the Department of Ocean Development, will take up similar work on the east and west coasts.
18.42 Implementation of the Biosphere Reserves Programme will start in the Seventh Plan with the Department of Environment acting as the nodal agency. The conservation programmes in the Reserves will be supplemented by a strong component of research studies on the living and non-living resources, rare and endangered species, socio-economic interactions with local/ surrounding populations and ethnobiological relationships.
18.43 To step up on-going activities, and to undertake new programmes at regional levels, the zonal centres of ZSI and BSI will be adequately strengthened in terms of modern tools and expertise.
18.44 Most of the programmes for environmental management deal with pre-planning for eliminating or at least minimising environmental degradation. One of the major objectives of the Eco-development programme is the restoration of already degraded eco-systems through practical field schemes such as land reclamation, afforestation, cleaning of water bodies, etc. The programme is also geared towards arresting further damage to eco-systems and the promotion of a conservation based development strategy. Eco-task forces of ex-servicemen will deal with critically degraded, inaccessible and difficult areas in the country. The programme of Eco-development camps for sensitising youth on the importance of conservation, especially through the technique of learning by doing, is proposed to be intensified with the involvement of larger number of voluntary agencies, schools, colleges, development agencies, etc.
18.45 To accelerate the process of repairing the damage already done and to illustrate successful tools, techniques and methodologies for environmental protection and field action, programmes would be taken up in some selected areas as demonstration projects, namely:
18.46 A series of documentary films will be produced on watershed management, soil conservation, water resources conservation, afforestation of degraded areas, reclamation of mined areas, etc.
18.47 The involvement of the university system (including agricultural universities), research institutions and voluntary agencies in taking up Eco-development activities in the Himalayan and Western Ghat regions and Ganga basin would be continued. In addition, the Action-Oriented Research, Development and Extension Programme would be extended to the Eastern Ghats and the Cauvery Basin.
18.48 The Himalayan Institute of Environment and Development will become fully operational. A network of regional centres of the Institute, together with their field stations, is proposed along the entire Himalayan belt, to coordinate the implementation of Eco-Development programmes for the region. In addition, a programme for revegetation to generate and update technology and management practices would also be launched.
18.49 For restoration of degraded eco-systems and greening of barren parts, massive public participation, and particularly the mobilisation of students, volunteers, ex-servicemen and such others would be required. It is proposed to integrate the efforts in these projects with other on-going projects of similar nature such as social and farm forestry, rural road construction, integrated rural development, etc.
Environmental Research Promotion
18.50 To ensure scientific support for environmental management programmes, the major effort aimed at promotion of environmental research and development will continue. Expert Groups on Environmental Research and Man and Biosphere Programme have already identified thrust areas for research and development. Accordingly, special attention will be given to the following areas:
18.51 Specific multidisciplinary and multi-institutional projects will be carried out on:
18.52 A Centre for Ecological Research and Training has been set up at Bangalore during the Sixth Plan period;
a Centre for Environmental Education at Ahmedabad and one for Mined Environment Studies at Dhanbad are being set up. It is proposed to set up some more Centres/ Programmes in the fields of:
18.53 Under the Manpower Development Programme, special schemes are envisaged to attract brilliant young scientists to carry out environmental research, as also to draw on the research experience of retired and Emeritus Scientists. Emphasis will also be laid on creating adequate education and training facilities to raise a pool of trained manpower.
Environmental Education, Training and Awareness
18.54 For creating and intensifying environmental awareness at all levels of Indian society, both formal and non-formal educational channels will have to be utilised. The basic thrust of the programme would encompass the following objectives:
18.55 In the formal education system there will have to be the fullest involvement of the Ministry of Education, and in particular the NCERT (for schools) and UGC (for universities). It is proposed to arrange for comprehensive training and consultancy services, besides having facilities for research in environmental management, on aspects of relevance to corporate executives, senior planners and administrators.
18.56 A major thrust in the field of non-formal environmental education will be provided through the efforts of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). NMNH will be moved from its present temporary premises to a new building envisaged specifically for the Museum. Regional Centres (satellites of the NMNH) are proposed to be set up. Rural Extension Serivce, through Mobile Museums, would be further strengthened.
18.57 A scheme for providing financial assistance for professional training in environmental management, and for participation of scientists, environmentalists, etc. in international seminars/symposia, is to be initiated.
18.58 For environmental management, the availability of accurate and relevant environmental information is a crucial pre-requisite. Modern data storage and retrieval systems form important components of a scientifically managed environmental data base.
18.59 It is proposed to provide a thrust to this through the computerised Environmental Information System (EN-VIS). This is a decentralised system with a network of Distributed Information Centres (DICs) on important subject areas in relation to environmental management. Besides strengthening the staff support of ENVIS, for facilitating a greater degree of information analysis and systematic dissemination, the network of DICs is proposed to be expanded. DICs have so far been set up in the fields of Pollution Control, Toxic Chemicals, Coastal and Offshore Ecology, Remote Sensing for Environmental Mapping, Environmentally Sound and Appropriate Technology, Environmental Impact Assessment, Biodegrada-tion of Wastes and Eco-Toxicology. In addition, the following areas are proposed for establishment of DICs in the Seventh Plan: Plant and Animal Ecology, Forestry, Desertification, Urban Planning, Mining, Himalayan Ecology, Instrumentation, Renewable Energy, Health, Project Tiger and Wildlife. DICs are also to be set up in State Departments of Environment and in selected nongovernmental organisations.
18.60 The ENVIS Documentation Centre will be strengthened to serve as a Regional Documentation Centre on Environment for South Asia. This would add to its capacity to serve national users and also aid in the exchange of information among countries in South Asia. Through International Information, systems such as IN-FOTERRA, the Centre could be linked to the global network of environmental information systems.
18.61 A major programme for publication of environmental status reports, research and policy papers and journals/newsletters for widespread dissemination is envisaged.
Coordination and Liaison with State Governments and Union Territories
18.62 To achieve decentralised implementation of environmental management programmes, coordinated action is required between Central, State and local levels of Government. Such a sharing of responsibilities is also necessary in view of the Constitutional allocation of 'subjects' and areas of jurisdiction.
18.63 It is planned that the Central Government would provide catalytic assistance to States/UTs for establishing/strengthening their formal mechanisms for environmental management. This assistance would be for selected programmes such as environmental assessment, preparation of local level plans for environmentally sound development, demonstration projects on technologies for environmental improvement, creation of technical infrastructure, etc. Wherever the biosphere reserves will be established, the concerned States will be expected to provide necessary facilities and cooperation.
18.64 To assist in the integration of environmental considerations with development programmes, at the local level, and for receipt of feedback on problems and issues at that level, the States/UTs will be encouraged to set up District Environment Committees. These Commitees would identify and facilitate the solution of environmental problems through coordinated action among development agencies, with the assistance of experts and institutions from other parts of the State or the country.
Environmental Policy and Law
18.65 Environment related legislation enacted in the past in India is in need of systematic review and updating/amending. It is therefore proposed to establish a mechanism for continuous review of national environmental legislation and support the study of India's role in international environmental conventiors.
18.66 Preliminary work has been completed for the preparation of a National Conservation Strategy; this would be finalised after consultation with concerned Central and State authorities, public and private sector corporate groups, non-governmental organisations, academic and research bodies, etc.
18.67 Under bilateral and multi-lateral environmental programmes involving joint projects, training and transfer of information, India has benefited greatly from international cooperation. The Department of Environment is the nodal agency for cooperation with a number of international organisations, such as United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICI-MOD), and also participates in the environmental programmes of other international bodies such as ESCAP, WHO, ILO, FAO, UNIDO, IPU and UNESCO. Some bilateral agreements with countries of the North and South have, as major components, cooperation in environmental management activities. The programmes of collaboration with the international agencies and under bilateral agreements particularly with the developing countries of the region, will be further intensified and closely related to national plans and priorities.
Strengthening of the Organisational Structures
18.68 To expeditiously implement and monitor the ambitious and extensive environmental programmes, it is necessary to strengthen the scientific and technical structures of the DOEn, at the Centre, and correspondingly the state level organisations. However, fullest effort would be made to utilise the available infrastructure and expertise of existing Centre and State level organisations, in an integrated and orchestrated approach, to ensure a sound development in harmony with the environment.
18.69 The propsed outlays are given in Annexure 18.1.
Expenditure for the Sixth Five Year Plan and Outlay for the
*Rs. 240 crores for Ganga Action Plan.
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