Air Quality Issues, Climate Change To Be Discussed At Odisha’s SOA Conference

Bhubaneswar: Around 500 delegates from across the country will attend a three-day conference focusing on air pollution and the need for clean air to be held at Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University from December 2.

The conference, titled ‘Vayu-The Vital Life Force,’ will be inaugurated by Odisha Governor Prof. Ganeshi Lal. It will have different sessions to deliberate on varied air quality issues and will include scientific discussions on climate change and pollution control with reference to ancient scriptures and texts to enrich public understanding of air quality.

A part of the Sumangalam Panchmahabhoot Conference series, the event will also be addressed by Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Bhartruhari Mahtab, MP from Cuttack and Aparajita Sarangi, MP from Bhubaneswar will be among the several dignitaries present.

The participants will comprise experts, academicians, scientists, engineers, representatives from State Pollution Control Boards, Pollution Control Committees, Municipal Commissioners, State Environment Secretaries and students. The conference will be a mega participatory event to nurture ‘Jan Bhagidari’ to mark the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration.

According to Panchmahabhoot, everything in nature is made up of five elements—Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. Any imbalance or threat to any of these elements threatens the well-being of humanity. Clean air is vital to sustain life on earth and ensure good health. The objective of the ‘Vayu’ conference is to build upon the multidimensional efforts taken by governments to achieve air quality targets as set by the National Clean Air Program by bringing together all important stakeholders.

The ‘National Clean Air City’ award based on Swachh Vayu Sarvekshan will be presented to the best performing nine cities for meeting air quality targets and implementation of corrective, preventive and mitigation actions. A cash prize of Rs. 5 crore will be awarded to these cities to motivate them to initiate further concrete action towards clean air goals.

An engaging youth session will be organised on December 2 to enable young people to present their innovative ideas to solve challenges of air quality. They will be involved in scholar sessions on atmospheric science, climate change, human health, heritage studies, agriculture issues and mitigation measures. An exhibition to raise public awareness on air quality and natural alternatives as also showcasing Odisha’s heritage is also planned.

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