Environmental Engineering versus Environmental Pollution

Category: Environment & Green Technology Published: Thursday, 20 October 2016
Environmental Education & Awareness
There are many social organizations and NGOs in India working in the field of environmental awareness and education. They have played an important role as a whistle blower in drawing attention of society at increasing environmental pollution. Strong social and political pressure groups have formed to struggle against polluters and force the administrative authorities to take appropriate steps in preventing pollution.  Many of the leaders of such organizations are dedicated environmental scientists.  
Government of India has made it mandatory to teach Environmental Studies as a common subject at school and college level. This has helped in dissemination of knowledge about  causes of environmental pollution, their adverse impacts on human health, agriculture and property and need of preventive waste minimization methods and nature conservation.
However, it has indirectly fostered a belief that any infrastructural development project, industrial growth or urbanization is bound to  increase pollution and therefore  should be opposed. This negative impact on the minds of people is due to failure of environmental engineers in educating the people about capability of modern environmental technology in control of pollution.  Environmental engineers generally remain aloof from environmental awareness activities  and do not educate people about research and development in pollution prevention technologies. Most of the expert environmental engineers pursue research of academic interest and remain engaged in educational sector.   
Other  environmental professionals  provide technical consultancy to  industries, local bodies and project planners, they are involved in  technical designs of treatment plants and do not have rapport with environmental NGOs fighting against pollution. Many a times these consultants have to play a role of defending polluters  even though they know that the pollution has occurred due to neglect  in operation and maintenance rather than faults in design. Naturally, environmental NGOs look upon these experts  as people working against environmental protection.
In fact, development in any sector without damage to environment is possible if necessary precautions are taken in selection of site, waste minimization and recycling techniques are used, treatment plant with proper capacity and efficiency is provided and operation of plant is closely monitored to ensure desired performance.   
Environmental engineers have to come out from their secure design offices and lead the NGOS fighting for effective pollution control  by highlighting drawbacks in present system and offering convincing environment management plan to project proponents.  He should also educate people about the treatment methodologies  and their expected efficiencies. He should also create awareness about the evils of pollution in administrators and decision makers and give clear idea about seriousness of problem if pollution is not controlled due to any lapses in  effective execution and management.