The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the Planning Commission,along with a few non-government organisations (NGO),are working on an environmental performance index wherein cities will be ranked according to criteria such as air pollution,water pollution,conditions of forests,climate change and waste management. Speaking at the national conference on Biodiversity Assessment,Conservation and Utilisation,organised by Abasaheb Garware College,Dr K Kasturirangan,member of the planning commission,said this is being done to build indirect pressure on states to take the biodiversity conservation issue more seriously.
Currently,the work on this index is in progress. We will rank the states on five criteria and 16 parameters. However,the work needs to be carried out after more discussions with all the states as the biodiversity of each state is different. We are trying to come up with state specific parameters for the index, added Kasturirangan. The MoEF is also working on green gases satellite sensors which will make it possible to study the effects of the gases on different areas.
Govt dragging feet on Western Ghats issue: Madhav Gadgil
Ecologist Madhav Gadgil,who heads the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP),is unhappy with the way the government is handling the Western Ghats issue. We had submitted the report to the government in September last year following which there were plans of public discussions on the same. However,without citing any reason,the government has indefinitely postponed the discussion and after September 19,I have not been contacted by them even once, said Gadgil,expressing concern.