AFTER a long gap of nine years, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has initiated the process to recruit 60 environmental officers and supporting staff.
The Board, which has severe shortage of technical staff, has issued a notification. The KSPCB has only 500 staff, including 150 serving on contract basis, against its requirement of about 1,200 employees. Apart from 11 units in Bangalore, the KSPCB has 36 units across the State. Most of these units are short-staffed. Ideally, each unit should have an environmental officer, a deputy environmental officer and three assistant environmental officers.
However, there are units with only one officer of deputy rank in Haveri, Yadgir and other places.
The Board is straddled with the additional responsibility of monitoring the management of waste in hotels and medical establishments, but it has not been able to carry out inspection frequently due to shortage of staff.
KSPCB Chairman A S Sadashivaiah said: “The reviewing of industries and sites has become very difficult with the limited staff. So long as we have a deficit staff, there will be a certain gap in keeping vigil.” He has put forth the issue before the Karnataka High Court Lok Adalat too.
Apart from the officers, the Board will also recruit 13 field assistants who are entrusted with task of collecting air and water samples, samples of emission from chimney and effluent treatment plants for testing. At present there are nearly 100 field assistants.
Outsourced to KEA
The KSPCB has outsourced the process of sorting applications to the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA). The KEA will grade candidates on merit basis in various categories, Sadashivaiah said.
KSPCB is planning to direct clubs, hotels and marriage halls to set up bio converters on their premises. The Board felt that as they produced a lot of wet kitchen waste, it made sense for them to install it.
While the officials are still identifying the number of such establishments, there are plans to organise an awareness programme for the stakeholders.
(Published in Deccan Herald on 16th November, 2010)