In order to keep a regular watch on the rising pollution levels resulting from stubble burning, the state government on Wednesday decided to create a directorate of environment and climate change.

An official spokesperson said on Wednesday that a decision in this regard was taken during the Cabinet meeting that was chaired by chief minister (CM) Amarinder Singh. The move will also help strengthen the system of environmental clearances given to industries, thus bringing greater accountability into the process, said the spokesperson. It was further added that the proposed directorate will address issues related to Biotechnology, Biodiversity, implementation of research and recommendations of Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST), besides ensuring clean, green and pollution-free environment.

The directorate would be set up in the Department of Science, Technology and Environment and would focus on technical issues to curb pollution risks efficaciously, added the spokesperson.

As per the decision, the directorate would work in two separate divisions such as Environment and Climate Change and Pollution Control Division. Environment and climate change division would look after the strategy and policy concerning issues whereas, pollution control division will deal with the laws concerning environment issues and strict implementation of pollution laws. It would keep tabs on industrial air pollution, stubble burning, vehicular emissions and construction projects releasing particular matter in the air, added the spokesperson.

The department of science, technology and environment will be responsible for chalking out the strategy, policy planning, implementation and co-ordination with various agencies, including Union government, state government departments, deputy commissioners, industry, investors, farmers, citizens and media, added the spokesperson.