Chapter 11 Education, Health, Environment and Housing Education

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HIV/AIDS Control Programme

11.114 During 2006, 36,869 persons were tested at VCTCs, 3500 of them (9.49%) tested positive.During the same period, 100,854 mothers were tested for HIV and 176 (0.17%) were found to be HIV positive. There are 104 Blood Banks in the state. During 2006,up to November, total collection of blood units is 492,784. WBSAP&CS is implementing 40 targeted interventions (27 CSWs, 5 IUDs and 8 MSMs) in partnership with NGOs & CBOs.Besides, there are 16 interventions among truckers and 6 among migrant labourers. As part of the IEC campaign, Buladi, an animated character, has been created to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS and to promote use of condoms as an effective tool for preventing HIV/AIDS. There are two ART centres (School of Tropical Medicine and North Bengal Medical College & Hospital). Presently , there are about 1600 patients receiving ART at these centres. The National AIDS Control Programme(NACP)-III is expected to be implemented from April 2007.

    1. Important Developments in the field of Medical Education &Tertiary level health care system:

  • New Departments / Units have been started in various MES institutions-like at School of Tropical Medicine – Deptts.of Bio-chemistry and Bio-technology, Pharmacology & Experimental Medicine and Laboratory Medicine have been started.

  • Institute of Cardio-Vascular Sciences have been set-up at R.G. Kar Medical College which is regularly performing Coronary Bypass surgery and already performed 100 successful surgeries.

  • Bangur Institute of Neurology is merged with Institute of Psychiatry to start a new hospital (Neuro psychiatry Inst.) . The Neuro –ICU unit has been set up at BIN.

  • A new ICCU has been set up in the ICVS at IPGMER. HRD Brachytherapy unit has been opened in the Deptt. Of Radiotherapy at IPGMER. New units of Hepatology, Rheumatology have been started at IPGMER.

  • Various modern equipments have been purchased to upgrade different MES institutions.

  • D.N.B. courses are to be started in different MES institutions for which inspections are completed.

  • Government has also created ‘Governing Body’ in the Medical Colleges – a move towards decentralization of powers to promote better efficiency in the Medical College Hospitals.

  • B.Sc. Nursing course has been started in Medical College in this year.

  • Essentiality certificate has been issued in favour of ICARE, Haldia for starting a new Dental College with intake capacity of 100 students.

  • Under Public Private Partnership Project, Bengal Institute of Pharmaceutical Science has started Degree Course in Ayurvedic Pharmacy at Kalyani, Nadia with a sanctioned intake capacity of 60 students from this year 2006-07.

European Commission Supported Sector Investment Programme

11.116 Under these Programme, the funds are being spent mainly on ANM( R) Training Schools, Urban Health Improvement Plan in 6 Municipalities in KMDA area, School Health Programme, State Thalassaemia Control Programme, Capacity building of District and Block Health and Family Welfare Samities, Strengthening of HMIS and introduction of e-Management in health system in the districts.

11.117 Apart from this, the Government has also taken up implementation of the Capacity Building Project for infrastructure development of Drug Sector as well as Food Sector of the State with the financial assistance of the World Bank .Construction of Drug Testing Laboratory at Sector III under Bidhannagar Municipal area will be taken up by HSCC(I) Ltd. after obtaining necessary statutory clearances from concerned authorities.
11.118 The Department of Environment (DOE) along with its sister organizations, the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB), West Bengal Biodiversity Board (WBBB), Institute of Environmental Studies & Wetland Management (IESWM) and East Kolkata Wetlands Management Authority, is continuously engaged to regulate, monitor and deliver environment related guidance and direction for improvement of the quality of natural environment. The activities of this department can be classified under some broad heads:

  • Waste Management Monitoring

  • Environmental Quality Monitoring

  • Wetland Conservation

  • Coastal Zone Management

  • Water Conservation

  • Accidental Hazard Management

  • Documentation & Management of Biodiversity

  • Environment Awareness Campaign

  • Environment Management & Information System

  • Environment Excellence Award

Hazardous Waste Monitoring
11.119 A Common Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage & Disposal Facility has been set up at Haldia . A joint venture company named M/s. West Bengal Waste Management Ltd. was formed for operating the facility. The facility has waste stabilization, incineration and landfill arrangements and caters to the hazardous wastes generated in the entire state. A second landfill site at Durgapur is also under consideration.
Municipal Solid Waste Management
11.120 Disposal of municipal solid wastes is an obligatory function of ULBs. Grants under 12th Finance Commission are utilized for this purpose.
External funds for this purpose are also available:

  1. Italian Mission for 16 towns in Sub-Himalayan Zone and Semi-Arid Zone

  2. JBIC for 6 towns in KMA

  3. ADB for KMC area

The West Bengal Solid Waste Management Mission under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary has been formed to oversee and monitor the solid waste disposal works in the urban areas of the state.

Plastic Waste Management
11.121 The Department through West Bengal Pollution Control Board, supervises the enforcement of the ban orders on the entry, use and sale of plastic carry bags in 39 heritage / tourist sites such as Victoria Memorial Hall, Indian Botanical Garden, etc. and the ecologically sensitive areas such as Sunderbans, hills, forests, seashores, etc. of the state. In association with the Indian Association of PET manufacturers, some steps have been taken to formulate a proper disposal system for recycling of huge quantum of PET bottle waste generated in the state. This initiative has helped to shorten the recycling chain and also made the people involved in the process of earning a fair amount of remuneration. At present a total number of six crushers are working in West Bengal and are functioning at an accumulated capacity of 182 tonnes per month.

Environmental Monitoring
11.122 The West Bengal Pollution Control Board operates a large air quality monitoring network both in Kolkata and in the major district towns. Presently the Board is operating its monitoring activities through 47 monitoring stations:

  • 17 stations in Kolkata

  • 3 stations in Durgapur

  • 1 station in Asansol

  • 2 stations in Haldia

  • 4 stations in Howrah

  • 20 stations in different urban towns and industrial areas

The Board also monitors the water quality of the major rivers of the state throughout the year.

Ganga Action Plan Schemes
11.123 Under Ganga Action Plan ( Phase – II ) in West Bengal, KMDA is executing various schemes in 31 municipal towns. The schemes consist of laying of intercepting sewers, construction of sewage pumping stations and sewage treatment plants, construction of crematoria, river front development, low cost sanitation, afforestation, public participation, etc. Till date, National River Conservation Directorate , Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India has sanctioned schemes valuing Rs. 201.32 crore. So far, a sum of Rs. 128.18 crore has been received from Government of India out of which Rs. 118.19 crore have been spent. Out of 174 schemes sanctioned so far, 62 schemes have been completed. Further , 83 schemes are likely to be completed by March, 2007.
East Kolkata Wetland
11.124 Enactment of East Kolkata Wetlands ( Management & Conservation ) Act,2006 had been a major milestone in Environmental Legislation during recent time. This will go a long way in conserving this Ramsar Site. The State Government has also framed East Kolkata Wetlands ( Management & Conservation ) Rules in October, 2006 and set up a dedicated office of their office bearers.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan

11.125 Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan for Digha Shankarpur Development Authority area has been drafted and is expected to be finalized shortly. Similar management plan for development of Mandarmoni area is also under consideration.

Rainwater Harvesting
11.126 The Department through Institute of Environmental Studies & Wetland Management ( IESWM ) tries to popularize Roof Top Rain Water Harvesting(RWH) System in urban and rural areas. In order to combat the scarcity of water in draught prone areas, so far 48 RWH systems have been installed in different schools in rural areas. Furthermore, 10 large RWH systems which will cater the demand of water for community and school students are under construction. Five of these are at Purulia District and the rest five are in Birbhum District. This will be continued in the next financial year also.
Off-site Emergency Plan
11.127 Off-site Emergency Plan for Major Accidental Hazard ( MAH ) units in Budge Budge has been finalized and a mock drill was conducted satisfactorily in November, 2006. Same plan has already been drafted for Haldia. The plan is expected to be finalized followed by a mock drill shortly.
Documentation of Biodiversity
11.128 The West Bengal Biodiversity Board has already initiated the mammoth task of inventorizing the biodiversity of West Bengal under the guidance of the different Expert Committees. Various literature and relevant materials are being collected and scrutinized for the purpose of documentation of the mammals, birds, algae, mosses, wetland plants of West Bengal along with notes on their distribution, habit and habitats.
Constitution of Expert Committees
11.129 The West Bengal Biodiversity Board has constituted five sub -committees to look after specific arenas of biodiversity matters of the state. The Committees thus formed comprise of experts in the respective fields who can plan and generate strategies and work schedules for covering their specified arenas . The Committees thus formed include

  1. Biodiversity Inventory Committee

  2. Agricultural Biodiversity Committee

  3. Wetland Biodiversity Committee

  4. Heritage Site & Sacred Grove Committee

  5. Awareness Committee

Preparation of People’s Biodiversity Register
11.130 Documentation of biodiversity and knowledge associated therewith at local level has been started in the form of People’s Biodiversity Register ( PBR ). The Board has initiated the task of preparation of Manuals for PBR activities , these include

  • Mammals ( Identification Manual )

  • Fresh water Fish ( Identification Manual )

  • Wetland Plants ( Identification Manual )

  • People’s Biodiversity Register Manual

  • Macrofungi ( Identification Manual)

  • Pollution abating plants

  • Rice Diversity of West Bengal

National Green Corps Programme in West Bengal
11.131 The Government of India sponsored ‘ Nationai Green Corps’ (NGC) programme is being implemented in West Bengal. The objective of this programme is to spread environmental awareness among school children. The West Bengal Pollution Control Board is the state nodal agency. In 2006-07, the NGC programme is functional in 4750 schools located in the 19 districts including Kolkata .
11.132 A dedicated web portal has been developed for environment related information of the state of West Bengal and National development. Up-to-date legislative development, statutory orders, forms, organizational activities have been depicted in an useful manner in the portal. There are provisions for query and answer, comments and opinion to interact with citizens interested in environmental issues. West Bengal Pollution Control Board has launched on-line environmental clearance site for the Green category of industries . Now, the Board has made EMIS mandatory for ‘consent to operate’ application renewals for special Red category of industries. Presently, the Board receives on-line cases for processing on ‘Consent to Establish’, ‘Consent to Operate’ and ‘Public Grievance’.
Environment Excellence Award, 2006
11.133 The West Bengal Cleaner Production Centre, a collaborative effort of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, Indian Chamber of Commerce and National Cleaner Production Centre, New Delhi, will confer the ‘Environment Excellence Award 2006’ to various organizations in recognition of their efforts to protect and preserve the environment through proactive environmental activities .The awards will be conferred in the following sectors:

  1. Large Industry Sector

  2. Small & Medium Industry Sector

  3. Local Bodies

  4. Non-Governmental Organizations

  5. Service Sector Organizations

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