Says ITIs,industry clusters may offer the course from next year
The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) is in the final stages of forming a syllabus to upgrade skills or teach afresh the professional skills needed to operate Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) and other environment management processes.
The course has been necessitated due to the lack of trained personnel to operate the 5,000-odd effluent treatment plants in the state. We are in discussions with the Labour Department that runs Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs),industry associations as well as NGOs working in the field of environment management to develop a pool of skilled workers that can operate such plants, said GPCB member-secretary Hardik Shah.
He added that the syllabus is complete,but we want to put it through another round of discussions to flesh out teacher and infrastructure requirements. Hopefully,these courses would be taught at ITIs and inside industry clusters in about one year from now, he said.
At present,26 Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) and Final Effluent Treatment Plants (FETPs) are operating in the state. These plants are fed effluents of thousands of industries,many of whom first run their effluents through their own ETPs from where they are passed on again to the larger plants for final treatment. The treated effluents are then released into rivers or the sea.
Academics and officials agree that one of the main problems is that wastewater fed into these larger plants do not undergo proper primary treatment,and are not segregated (effluents have various chemical mixes that need to be segregated) properly. This results in inefficiencies in the larger plants.
On Wednesday,environmentalists had released Right to Information (RTI) replies from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) that suggested 21 of the 26 CETPs/FETPs have been consistently unable to meet standards.
GPCB officials suspect that one of the reasons behind this is the shortage of manpower. ETPs are usually operated by workers who are trained for other industrial purposes and to man other machines,not specifically ETPs.