CHENNAI: The Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Youth Welfare and Sports Development Siva V Meyyanathan distributed Green Champion Awards on account of World Environment Day at Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) corporate office on Sunday.
The awards were given along with cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh each to industries, organisations, local bodies and non-government organisations who have made exemplary contribution to the protection of environment. The minister also distributed ECOmmute awards to 37 schools and school students to those who have adopted non-polluting mode of transport to commute between their home and school and to encourage other schools to adopt eco-friendly mode of transport.
This year the World Environmental Day is themed 'Only One Earth' with the focus on 'Living sustainably in Harmony with Nature'. It focuses on the need to have a sustainable life in harmony with nature and to switch over to a greener lifestyle.
The Minister also launched an innovative Manjappai (jute bag) vending machine which will provide a bag after Rs 10 is paid. He also flagged off 25 new vehicles meant for field inspection and monitoring by the TNPCB. He also distributed sports equipments worth of Rs 25,000 each to the top 20 schools, who adopted ECOmmute made by their students.
The programme was jointly organised by Environment, Climate Change and Forests Department and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. A release from the TNPCB said that air pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats to human health, alongside climate change. Thus, aiming to improve the air quality, TNPCB will also start the posting of air quality data on near real time basis daily through its newly launched Facebook page.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) at 4 pm everyday based on the past 24 hours average values will be displayed on the Facebook page of TNPCB by 9 pm daily on the same day in a video format. The air quality data is generated from the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations installed by TNPCB in 34 different locations across the state of Tamil Nadu.
The Air Quality Index data to be hosted on the facebook page of TNPCB will be very useful for the media personnel, the district administrators and the local public. TNPCB invites everyone to follow the AQI data on its facebook page to know the air quality of their location on near real time basis, a release from the department said.