Jharkhand pollution watchdog to go paperless by year-end

Source: hindustantimes.com

Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) will go paperless by December this year, which would approximately save nine tonnes of papers annually and over 280 trees every year, officials said.

The board has already made consent to establish (CTE), consent to operate (CTO) and auto-renewal process of CTO online.

Now, it aims to make all kinds of compliances for CTE and CTO, which involves tonnes of papers annually, online. Number of industries in Jharkhand is more than 9,000. Every industry has to submit compliance report either quarterly or half yearly or yearly.

If this happens, Jharkhand would be the first state to introduce online compliance management system, officials said.

“We aim to make all working of the board paperless by the end of the year by introducing online compliance management system. The CTE and CTO processes have already been made online. But the compliance process is still manual, which is now being made online,” said A K Rastogi, JSPCB chairman.

He said he had a discussion with the director general of National Informatics Centre (NIC) for developing a software in this regard on August 19. “Actually, compliance process is yet to go online anywhere in the country. So, a separate software would be required for it. The NIC has agreed to do the job,” he said.

“Once it is completed, we will make establishment matters online, the last process to make the board paperless,” he said.

The CTE and CTO processes were made online in 2015. However, several features were added to it over the past couple of years. This year, the board has introduced auto-renewal process for a consent to operate (CTO) for industries in the state under the Ease of Doing of Business (EoDB) initiative.

Now, industries do not have to face closure of their units due to delay in getting CTO from the pollution board. CTO is given to industries falling under categories of green (less pollution potential), orange (pollution potential) and red (critically pollution potential) for a certain period of five years, 10 years and 15 years as per the industry requirements.

Now, the green, orange and red category industries having investment up to Rs 5 crore will get automatic renewal of CTO for a year without any scrutiny. However, to avail the facility, industries will have to upload all required self-certified documents on the board’s website and pay the certain fees before 69 days of previous CTO’s expiry date.

The board has also decided to issue a unique identification number to Jharkhand industries for keeping a tab on their past records. It would also help industries to go paperless, as all documents would be uploaded in the board’s website.