Environmental pollution, a threat to life on earth is primarily attributable to anthropogenic and natural factors. Nature possesses an inherent quality of curing pollution by itself. However, anthropogenic factors, such as, population explosion, rapid industrialisation & growing urbanisation disturb the self-purification system of nature resulting in environmental pollution. Realising the gravity of the problem & with a view to combat & mitigate pollution problems, several legislations & their enforcement came into being worldwide.  

            In India, Orissa took the lead in the matter by enacting the Orissa River Pollution Prevention Act, 1953. Committed to a clean environment, Orissa Pollution Control Board was constituted with effect from 15.7.1983 vide notification number 1484 after the Orissa Legislative Assembly adopted the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. The Board was primarily entrusted with the responsibilities to execute and ensure proper implementation of different provisions of both the Acts. 

            The functions of the Board can be broadly classified into three main categories : 

(1)             Enforcement

(2)             Advisory

(3)             Monitoring, research & creation of public awareness. 

Subsequently the Environment (Protection) Act. 1986, an umbrella act was enacted wherein, Orissa Pollution Control Board has been delegated with wide varieties of responsibilities. The main features are as follows: 

1.                Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling)Rules, 1989.

2.                Manufacture, use, import, export, storage of Hazardous Micro-organism, Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells Rules, 1989.

3.                Manufacture, storage and import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989.

4.                Environment Audit Notification.

5.                EIA and Notification for conducting public hearing prior to the issue of NOC (Consent to establish a statutory requirement under EP Act and rules).

6.                Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 1991.

7.                Chemical Accidents (Emergency Planning, Preparedness & Response) Rules, 1996.

8.                Biomedical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998. 

The Board continues to discharge its duties & responsibilities under various Environment Acts & Rules framed thereunder as described above. The recent rulings of the Apex Court have put enormous responsibilities on the State Pollution Control Boards beyond the statutory duties and responsibilities i.e. settlement of various public interest litigation cases. Besides these, the Board through various enforcements issues directive to industries to adopt clean technologies, install adequate emission control measures and effluent treatment plants. 

            The Board also grants consent to operate an industry. Without the consent of the Board, industry is not supposed to carry out its  operation. Along with the consent application, the industry supplies information on nature and quantity of raw-materials, production process, quality of effluent, atmospheric emission in each stack, process emission, particulate analysis, details of water and Air Pollution control measures etc. to the Board. On  having the application from the heavily polluting Small Scale Industries the Board makes enquiry under Rule-33 of the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Rules 1976 for granting consent. The categories of heavily polluting industries is at Annexure. For other categories of Small Scale Industries, the acknowledgement of the application form by the Board serves the purpose of consent. However, the Board may conduct random checks or call for information from any Small Scale unit and make a formal consent order prescribing conditions, etc. as required. 

            Similarly the Board grants consent to establish (NOC) for facilitating the entrepreneurs to establish industries in the State.

            Another important task of the Board is to prepare Zoning Atlas for siting of industries at the instance of Government of India. It is because of the fact that industrialisation in India is occurring in a fast pace & the environmental pollution due to emission & waste generated by the industries is increasing proportionately. Lack of planned development in the industrial sector can put the environment to high risk due to poor land use compatibility & over exploitation of resources. Much of the problems of pollution & cost thereof can be avoided by preventing indiscriminate siting of industrial units. An important pre-requisite for judicious siting of industries is to consider the environmental profile of the proposed site. It is achieved through preparation of Zoning Atlas. While preparing the Zoning Atlas the environmental parameters and conditions are evaluated & quantified and the suitability of the site is determined basing on their sensitivity to air, water & land pollution. 

            The Central & State Pollution Control Boards which are statutorily involved in pollution control and regulatory activities have now taken a lead to introduce environmental planning in India. This environmental planning programme more popularly known as "Zoning Atlas" is intended to help achieve development in an environmentally sound manner. 

            The Zoning Atlas for siting of industries zones and classifies the environment in a District and presents the pollution receiving potential of various sites/zones in the District and the possible alternate sites for industries through easy to read maps. 

            The objectives of preparing a Zoning Atlas for siting of industries are : 

                  to zone and classify the environment in a Districts;

                  to identify locations for siting of industries and

                  to identify industries suitable to the identified sites. 

The Zoning Atlas, in addition to streamlining the decision-making process has several benefits, such as ; 

                  Provides a ready-reckoner for best suitable site and relevant environmental information;

                  Makes decision-making process simpler, faster, realistic, transparent and reliable;

                  Helps in planning cost-effective pollution control measures and programmes;

                  Helps entrepreneur in readily finding out the location best suited to site an industry thereby saving time, efforts, investment and risk instead of heading for an unknown site, conducting environmental impact assessment and awaiting clearance by the regulatory authorities.

                  Helps develop infrastructure facilities, such as roads, water supply, electricity etc. and provide common waste treatment and disposal facilities;

                  Helps check additional pollution in the areas already over-stressed with pollution;

                  Helps achieve sustainable development.  

In the Zoning Atlas, the information on physical characteristics and environmental status of the districts are analysed to identify suitable areas for siting of various types of polluting industries. The outputs are presented through easy-to-read maps in 1,250,000 scale as well as in digital format in GIS environment. The advantage of creating digital database is that it can be upgraded periodically with latest information. 

Zoning Atlas for siting of industries is a World Bank sponsored national project coordinated by Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi and executed in association with State Pollution Control Boards and other agencies. Orissa State Pollution Control Board  has been entrusted to execute the preparation of Zoning Atlas for Orissa. The necessary technical support is being provided by Central Pollution Control Board in coordination with the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) 

            Orissa State Pollution Control Board, in the first phase, has prepared the Zoning Atlas for siting of Industries, based on Environmental Considerations for Sundargarh district. In second phase, the Board has prepared Zoning Atlas for undivided Sambalpur ( Sambalpur, Deogarh, Jharsuguda and Bargarh) and Cuttack  (Cuttack, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur) districts. The Industrial Estate planning for Paradeep area has already been completed. The Board is now enganged in preparation of Zoning Atlas for Puri, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts.

* * * * *

Source Orissa Pollution Control Board, Bhubaneswar.





Copper Smelter






Zinc Smelter






Iron & Steel






Pulp & Paper






Dye & Dye Intermediates






Pesticides Manufacturing & Formulation






Basic Drugs and Pharmaceuticals












Fertilizer (Nitrogen / Phosphate)












Fermentation & Distillery


















Thermal Power






Sulphuric Acid






Oil Refinery