Chandigarh,12.10.17-A three day residential training programme on the “Biological Monitoring, Analysis and Quality Assurance” commenced today at School of Public Health, PGIMER organized by Panjab University, Chandigarh with support from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi and Department of Health Research (DHR), Delhi. Over 35 participants from various institutes, pollution control boards and health departments representing 13 states of India are attending the training programme. Experts are from various renowned institutes like National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur; Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh; Punjabi University, Patiala; Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi, PGIMER, Chandigarh and Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Dr. Ravindra Khaiwal, Associate Professor of Environmental Health, School of Public Heath, PGIMER highlighted the importance of biological monitoring and mentioned that the use of living organisms as indicators can increase reliability and effectiveness of analytical control of environmental contaminants. Micro-organisms, protozoa, aquatic plants and animals may serve as biological indicators to measure the total toxicity in aquatic environment and can play a major role in programmes like ‘NamamiGange’ and  in maintenance of local ponds and lakes.

 Dr. Suman Mor, Co-ordinator, Centre for Public Health, Panjab University, stated that changes in freshwater system can produce diverse biological effects ranging from the severe effects (such as episode of mass mortality of big fish was observed in Dhanas lake near Chandigarh) to the subtle effects. She further added that changes like these indicate that ecosystem and its associated organisms are under severe stress. Hence, the water from such ecosystem could affect the human health.

Dr. Malkit Singh, Department of Medical Microbiology, PGIMER highlighted that most widely used micro-biological procedures are for the monitoring of bacteria associated with fecal contamination, which gives direct indication of water borne infection risk to human health.

Prof. S.K Mehta, Director, Sophisticated Analytical Instrumentation Facility (SAIF), Panjab University and Co-ordinator of Chandigarh Region Innovation and Knowledge Cluster (CRICK), inaugurated the environmental training programme and emphasized that state of the environment is of great concern due to its enormous impact on living organisms and it is deteriorating due to human activities. Hence, he further stressed that when designing a monitoring programme biological method should also be considered along with other approaches to better understand the overall effect of contaminants on water bodies.

The training programme is financially supported by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi and Department of Health Research (DHR), Delhi.