The International Labour Organisation (ILO) celebrates the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28 to promote prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on emerging trends in the field of occupational safety and health and on the magnitude of work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities worldwide.
The theme of the day for 2015 is “Join in building a culture of prevention on Occupational Safety and Health”. A national safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, employers and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment.
 The fundamental nature of occupational safety and health (OSH) is the management of occupational risks. Its application can be adapted to a range of situations, from the simple needs of a small scale enterprise to the multiple needs of hazardous and complex industries such as mining, chemical manufacturing or manufacture of building materials.
The manufacture of some building materials for construction industry creates occupational hazards and environmental hazards. Asbestos use is considered as an environmental and public health concern. According to an ILO estimate, there are about 1,00,000 deaths every year from lung cancer and mesothelioma caused by previous exposures to asbestos. This is due to lack of education of workers, unaware of the hazards of their occupations at their workplaces.
Continuous use of asbestos is a cause of great concern today. Despite a reduction in asbestos production, asbestos use is growing in developing countries. Preventive safety and health facilities in these countries are largely underdeveloped while exposure levels are high. India is emerging as the major user of asbestos where the developed world phasing out its use. India is the largest importer of asbestos, according to the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics. Asbestos mining and milling activity is concentrated in the small scale sector in India, whereas asbestos products are manufactured in small, medium and large scale sectors. About 2,500 tonnes of chrysotile and 35,000 tonnes of tremolite asbestos are annually mined in India. Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar are major asbestos mining belts with 20,000 tonnes being mined from these three States yearly.
Asbestos fibers can be moulded or worn into fabrics, nonflammable and a good heat insulator. Asbestos is strong and resistant to heated chemicals. They are used in India as fireproof products such as safety clothing for firefighters and insulation such as hot water piping. Besides, asbestos is widely used as floor tiles, ceiling tiles and roof materials. Usually asbestos is mixed with other materials to form the products. Floor tiles, for example, may contain only a small percentage of asbestos. Depending on what the product is, the amount of asbestos in asbestos containing materials (ACM) may vary from 1 per cent-100 per cent.
Millions of workers in developing countries continue to be unnecessarily exposed to asbestos despite the fact that it is a carcinogen. Chrysotile asbestos, which accounts for 95 per cent of today’s asbestos production and use, is classified as a carcinogen by the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
There are significant public health concerns as members of workers’ families and people who live near production sites are at risk. There are cases of asbestos-related diseases being diagnosed among family members who were exposed to clothes contaminated with asbestos. In general, workers’ knowledge about health risks due to asbestos exposure is low.
Asbestos in general does not pose any health risk. When it is broken during processing, it may release the asbestos fibre dust. For example, if an asbestos ceiling tile is drilled or broken, it may release fibres into the air. When left intact and undisturbed, asbestos-containing materials do not pose a health risk. Asbestos pipe and boiler insulation does not present a hazard unless the protective canvas covering is cut or damaged in such a way that the asbestos underneath is actually exposed to the air.
Therefore, control of asbestos dust should be achieved as near the source as possible. This increases the efficiency of the control process, minimises costs and prevents the spread of dust into adjacent areas. Manufacturers and vendors should ensure that equipments are provided with devices to collect asbestos dust where it is produced and has settled. They should provide purchasers with instructions concerning safety in their use and should draw their attention to the hazards which may occur when these instructions are not followed.
In many parts of India, asbestos is sold without statutory warning symbol in the market, and in a majority cases the workers do not wear the protection gear. In order to address the continuing burden of diseases caused by exposure to asbestos, the ILO has developed international standards and guidelines for elimination of asbestos-related diseases (ARD) worldwide.
The ILO provides legislative and practical bases for worker protection against harmful asbestos exposures by prescribing comprehensive preventive measures at national and enterprise levels. Among other measures, the ILO Convention on Safety in the Use of Asbestos provides for replacement of asbestos or certain types of asbestos or products containing asbestos by other materials or products.
Workers whose jobs involve exposure to asbestos dust should be provided with health supervision. All asbestos-containing products should have an internationally recognised warning symbol designating the product as asbestos-containing and warning the user that inhalation of asbestos dust may cause serious damage to health. All workers should be provided with education and training in regard to sources of asbestos dust exposure, potential health effects, risks associated with asbestos dust exposure and smoking, and methods of prevention.



The Earth is the source of life. It is a system that coordinates physical, chemical, biological and ecological elements in a manner that makes life possible. Any substantive alteration of one of its components can affect other areas and the entire system.
To create awareness for protection of the planet earth, Earth Day is observed on 22nd April. The first Earth Day was observed in 1970. This year is Earth Day’s 45th anniversary. The theme for Earth Day 2015 is “It’s Our Turn to Lead”.
Climate change is now one of the greatest environmental issues. The global warming is largely attributed to the increase of greenhouse gases. The increase in carbon dioxide concentration, which is gathered in the atmosphere due to burning of fossil fuel and industrial activities, has been impacting the global warming to a big extent.
The human population on the earth is growing, resulting in the expansion of human settlements and an increase in a wide range of problems. Urban areas seem to be a threat to the environment since they generate more than three-quarters of carbon emissions globally. For the first time ever, more people live in the world’s cities than in rural regions. Presently, 31% of India’s population lives in urban areas as per Census of India report, 2011.
Odisha, with 41 million people, is the eleventh-most populous State in India. Over the last decade, Odisha has witnessed a 14.1-per cent growth in its population, while the urban population increased at a rate of 27.2%.
Cities are the key to sustainability. As the city grows in size and population, harmony among the spatial, social and environmental aspects of a city and between its inhabitants becomes of paramount importance. This trend points to the need for urban sustainability which uses green building practices and creative city planning to reduce environmental damage. Low carbon society scenarios visualise social, economic and technological transitions through which societies respond to climate change. Planning of sustainable region needs to incorporate the idea of low carbon society and low carbon economy in urban areas. As cities spread out, work-related trip distances and other travel activities increase. This often leads to a higher reliance on personal motorised transport. It is observed that compact cities emit less CO2 emissions, on a per capita basis, from passenger transportation than sprawled cities.
India’s cities are the largest and fastest-growing consumers of materials and energy, producers of waste and emitters of greenhouse gases. A low carbon approach to the planning and management of cities can contribute towards meeting the Government of India’s target of reducing the carbon intensity. The Energy Conservation Act, 2001 empowered the Central and State Governments to: Specify energy consumption standards for notified equipment and appliances; Establish and prescribe energy consumption norms and standards for designated consumers; Prescribe energy conservation building codes for efficient use of energy and its conservation in new commercial buildings having a connected load of 500 kW ; Get an energy audit conducted by an accredited energy auditor in the specified manner and interval of time. Under the provisions of the Act, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) was established with effect from 1st March, 2002. The BEE in India has enacted an energy conservation building code (ECBC), which has been mandatory for large commercial buildings in some areas. The code enforcement falls in the jurisdictions of States and local municipal authorities. ECBC compliant buildings save 30% of energy. Even partial compliance can save 18% to 20% of energy.
The environment of the city of Bhubaneswar has been degraded due to high population growth and different manmade activities. The effects of climate change have been observed since last few years in the city. The temperature in summer is ranging in most of the days around 400 degree C, which is not only affecting the health and comfort of the people but also demands more energy.
In rapidly developing cities, urban planning and its effective implementation requires land-use planning that creates land-use patterns within cities that can provide services without the loss or degradation of natural habitats. Local governments can proactively carry out integrated land-use planning to address adverse impacts from urban sprawl, including increased private motorised transport, air pollution and urban heat island effect.
Carbon sequestration can reduce the amount of GHG emissions that are produced in the city. It involves removing GHG emissions from the atmosphere, either through enhancing natural ‘carbon sinks’ by conserving forest areas, the development of new carbon sinks (reforestation or afforestation) or through the capture and storage of GHG produced within the city. Importance should be given to plant more trees and develop green belts that can reduce a city’s carbon emissions significantly. Many buildings are designed in the city without considering climatic conditions of the area. These buildings need air-conditioning to keep them cool. Using air-conditioning leads to more energy use, which results in more carbon dioxide emission. Architects should keep climatic conditions in mind and design building that will cut down energy consumption.
Climate change will go on forever. To reduce its impacts on settlements and infrastructure, it is critical to develop appropriate mitigation and adaptation responses. Climate-responsive buildings have minimal adverse impacts on the natural environment. They also seek to maximise opportunities for indoor environmental quality and performance, saving money, reducing waste, increasing worker productivity and creating healthier environment for people to live and work.
To decrease urban CO2 emission and energy consumption, a lot of cities over the world have adopted Low Carbon Economy as a new development philosophy, and to create Low Carbon City has become a common goal. The same philosophy can be applied in India.
Developing climate-responsible master plan will protect the environment. Master Plans and Comprehensive Development Plans (CDPs) need to incorporate climate change considerations. Components of land-use plan including zoning, FAR, setback, etc., should be implemented properly for sustainable development.
Sustainability is not only about city planning and energy conservation in building design; it is not only about environmental protection and management systems. Sustainability is about the way people live and work in the city. Every individual has a key role for protection of the earth. Everything individuals do in their lives has an impact on the environment. To protect the earth, communities should develop sustainable solutions to meet the basic needs in every sphere of their life.




The World Heritage Day is celebrated on April 18 to create awareness among the people to conserve and protect the valuable assets and cultural heritage across the world. Heritage is something which is specific and typical of a place or region. Buildings of historic and architectural significance become part of the cultural heritage of a city and the society. Cultural heritage is the creation of human beings, who have created it by virtue of their innovative power, creativity and artistic ability.
Odisha is known for its fascinating cultural heritage, amazing temples and monuments. These heritages are well-appreciated by both national and international tourists. Heritage-related events have tremendous potential. Fairs and festivals all around the year have attracted tourists to the State. Further, they also create employment opportunities and support the socioeconomic development of areas.
The monuments and the cultural activities associated with the monuments play a very important role in the lifestyle of the people of Odisha and give a special identity to them. It is necessary to improve awareness of cultural heritage due to its historical, social, aesthetic and scientific significance. Historical significance refers to the relationship to era, person or event. Social significance refers to the social, spiritual and other community-oriented values attributed to a place.Aesthetic significance refers to the special sense of importance of a place with reference to architecture, scale and designs. Scientific significance refers to the scope or possibility of scientific findings from a site, monument or place.
Odisha has more than 3,000 monuments and archaeological sites. They include Hindu temples built in the Kalinga style of temple architecture that flourished from 7th to the 13th century AD. The most important monuments of this period can be seen in and around Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark. The Sun Temple at Konark, Hindu temples, the Sisupalgarh and Jain caves at Khandagiri and Udayagiri in Bhubaneswar, Buddhist monasteries at Ratnagiri-Lalitgiri-Udayagiri, ancient  forts, palaces, etc., are the rich heritage of.Odisha, which hosts some vibrant events such as the Konark Dance Festival, the Car Festival, the Puri Beach Festival and the Mukteswara Dance Festival.
The rapid urbanisation has become a great concern for heritage conservation.There are many threats to cultural heritage sites. Due to development pressures, archaeological sites are neglected or surrounded by poorly-planned commercial development. The fine architectural elements are gradually losing their importance. In many areas, there are encroachments and narrow heritage routes. This creates problems for the visiting tourists. Efforts should be made for conservation of built heritage and delineation of special zones for tourism promotion and development. Heritage management for promotion of tourism may be emphasised in the CDP (Cultural Development Plan).
There are national and State laws for preservation of archaeological heritage.Seventy-eight monuments in Odisha have been recognised by the Archaeological Survey of India as Monuments of National Importance. A total of 218 monuments are protected by the State. However, there are a large number of monuments which are not protected by any agency.
Planning and managing heritage tourism requires a number of issues to be dealt with. The management system includes cycles of planning, implementation and monitoring. A heritage management system is a framework, made up of three important elements as a legal framework which defines the reasons for its existence, an institution which gives form to its organisational needs and decision-making and resources which are used to make it operative. The State authorities should provide a suitable legal framework to support cultural heritage conservation, such as a ban on new construction, demolition, renovation and any changes in the immediate vicinity of a protected site that might affect the appearance of heritage, restrictions on advertisements and various infrastructures.
After the guidelines are framed, buildings within heritage precincts or in the vicinity of heritage sites shall maintain the skyline in the precinct and follow the architectural style of the particular area as may be existing in the surrounding area so as not to diminish or destroy the value and beauty of or the view from the heritage sites.
Heritage tourism management is concerned with the identification, interpretation, maintenance and preservation of significant cultural sites and physical heritage assets and tourist inflow and providing them adequate facilities to understand the heritage. Tourism is vital for every State due to the income generated by consumption of goods and services by tourists and the opportunity for employment and economic advancement by working in the industry.
The Bhubaneswar Development Plan Area (BDPA) offers a rich cultural heritage with the Ekamra Kshetra being the heart of the cultural capital over the centuries and offers great potential for tourism development. There is a need for augmentation of the existing cultural facilities in distributed urban centres throughout the planning area. There are proposals in the CDP for propagation and development of culture in a Cultural Diversity Plan. This includes promotion of traditional fairs and festivals through Government and NGOs to generate awareness among people towards cultural heritage. With appropriate policy guidelines and heritage management, the cultural resources of the BDPA can promote tourism and play a meaningful role in projecting Bhubaneswar’s cultural identity.
Since tourism is nowadays used to stimulate regional development, cultural heritage tourism is used for both preservation and economic development of the regions. Recently, the concept of heritage corridor has gained much popularity in heritage tourism. Heritage corridors are innovative entities designed to encourage grassroot efforts to protect and enhance a region’s unique natural, historical, cultural resources while simultaneously promoting appropriate economic development and redevelopment. A heritage corridor can be delineated on the historical context with the inter-relationships among events and sites, the natural set up of the place, and the cultural pattern. The Departments of Tourism and Culture have decided to create a heritage corridor comprising tourism sites between Bhubaneswar and the nearby heritage area. Apart from visiting the heritage sites, the tour would enable visitors to experience communal harmony, rural lifestyle, and age-old practices of the traditional art and craft of the region.
The comprehensive planning proposal for tourism and recreation development aims to strengthen tourist attraction through improved publicity and facility upgradation. More tourists mean more business for local people in retail and service sectors. Thus, it will also create a strong economic base through various types of outdoor recreation.
Formulation of guidelines for regular augmentation and upgradation of tourist infrastructure and services of public and private agencies are required on a regular timeframe. Cultural heritages are important drivers of development. National and local authorities should allocate funds for maintaining and conserving cultural heritage as well as for innovative projects that promote the development of cultural heritage in a sustainable way. Public participation can bring many benefits to a cultural heritage site. Due to the close relationship between cultural heritage and lifestyle of the local communities, it is important to share the benefits with local communities. This way, people develop a stronger attachment to the heritage site and take care of the rich heritage of the State.



The Foundation Day of Bhubaneswar is celebrated on 13th April. It was on this day in 1948 that India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had laid the foundation-stone for the new city. The city has now undergone various transformations and constant changes of the neighbourhood and the buildings it contains.
Urban transformation is a habitual process in the evolution of cities. It is based on the relations between the cities’ physical, social and economic processes. Bhubaneswar’s transformation from an ancient temple town to a modern city was executed by German architect Dr Otto H Köenigsberger in 1948. The initial planning was done on neighbourhood planning concept. In each neighbourhood, rows of Government quarters were built. Large Government buildings and a marketplace are at the town centre. The architect’s visualisation was of a horizontal plan in consideration with budget and general characteristics of the living style of the people.
The layout of housing was designed with parallel rows to admit sunlight and fresh air. Contemporary neighbourhoods facilitate pleasant and comfortable environment.  However, the present-day neighbourhoods offer more emphasis on housing design.
Koenigsberger’s overall design for Bhubaneswar was based on the simple device of one main traffic artery, to which the neighbourhood units were attached. The town was divided into six units (residential neighbourhoods). Initially, emphsis was given to meet housing requirements of Ministers and gazetted officers, ministerial staff and Class IV employees with public utilities like market, hospital, etc. Unit-1 is the first of the six units which caters to the daily market, first public bank and police station along with different types of quarters for Government employees. Unit V is earmarked for administrative functions. Other units were planned as residential neighbourhoods. Each unit was designed to house a population of 5,000 to 6,000.
Koenigsberger suggested seven types of roads, footpaths, parkways, cycle paths, minor housing streets, major housing streets, main roads and main arteries, for seven groups of users for seven different functions. The overall widths of land earmarked for roads and streets were not determined by traffic alone but by requirements for storm water drainage services like overhead electric lines, telephone, water and the need of adequate light and air to adjoining houses. An important consideration was space for avenue trees on roads, and necessary provisions were made early in the land allotment scheme and in the estimates.
In Bhubaneswar, neighbourhoods are generally classified under four categories – pre-Independence inner city (Old Town, post-Independence (New Town – 1950), neighbourhood designed during 1970s and neighbourhood designed after 1990s.
The new Bhubaneswar town is experiencing changing dynamics in residential areas. Commercial areas in some patches of roadside plots in the neighbourhood are characterised by problems relating to limitation of space, storage, on-street loading/unloading, heterogeneous traffic and idle parking. A number of incompatible land-use is found within the neighbourhoods.
Until 1990, most of the neighbourhoods were designed with horizontal development with a few G+3 flats for Government employees. Due to high population growth after 1990, a number of private owners constructed apartment-type of houses. There are unauthorised constructions and conversion of residential zone to commercial. The examples are corner grocery shops, betel and cigarette shops, vegetable outlets and other shops. This has led to deterioration in the architectural character of the buildings.
At Bhauma Nagar, residential layout was designed in 1950. The location of the area is at the city’s central part. The plot sizes vary from 8x12m to 12x18m.  The numbers of houses in this neighbourhood have increased due to construction of flats for Government employees. The roads designed at that time were wide enough to sustain the then traffic movement and parking facilities. It is served by shopping facilities, schools, a hospital and a community centre.
The existing Government quarters are of courtyard type of houses and common wall typologies. The houses were designed with rear and front courtyards. The buildings have retained their architectural expressions. However, there are modifications in the built structure to accommodate changes in family structure. A number of people constructed additional houses in the back and front yards. And the added garages for four-wheelers which were not provided during the initial phase of design. New market complex has already been added to the existing market.
The blocks of houses have conservancy lanes (gaps between two rows of houses) behind the house that serve a dual purpose. The lanes are used for sewerage line also to facilitate cleaning and repair work. The lanes are also used for movement of domestic animals and servants. The house owner purchased vegetables and other items from venders on these lanes. But nowadays, many such conservancy lanes remain unclean and create problems. Conservancy lanes are only found in the city’s old neighbourhoods planned during 1950s.  The Madhusudan Nagar area designed during 1970s, and the area is close to Bhauma Nagar. There are Government flats, Government lease plots and private plots. In this area, transformations include demolition of old structures and construction of new buildings.
The Nayapalli area was developed after 1970. The neighbourhood layout varies with the period of development, land ownership status and land distribution scheme. This is a residential neighbourhood for VIPs and hence a posh area. A majority of land is under private ownership. The area also has multistoried apartments. However, the area’s proximity to the main road shows predominantly commercial land use. A large number of houses converted their ground floor for commercial use with upper floors being residential.
Chandrasekharpur was developed after 1990. It is characterised by an irregular road pattern. The lands are under the GA Department and also under private ownership.  
In a neighbourhood, mixed land use has positive and negative environmental impacts. Only selective nonresidential activity in residential premises should be permitted selectively, taking into consideration the community needs, environmental impact and provision for safe and easy traffic circulation and adequate parking.
The observations of various stages of development of the neighbourhood can help to draw many lessons, which can be used in the modification process of the neighbourhood planning. Bhubaneswar is experiencing transformation in residential neighbourhoods. The integration of residential units with schools and markets has become difficult in the past few years. The lack of connections between new developments is a common problem in recent urban expansions.
The neighbourhoods developed on Government land have more open space than the areas developed on private land. In planned residential neighbourhoods under Government schemes, there is allocation of land for recreational use. Sufficient space for recreation is not available in private ownership land.
The planning for Bhubaneswar’s future requires a keen look at the existing ground realities. Besides, the present building regulations play an important role in determining the character of the neighbourhood. There is a need to understand neighbourhood dynamics by identifying stages in the process of neighbourhood change. Neighbourhood is intended to fulfil social, community as well as retail functions. A proper balance between all the facilities should be maintained for the convenience of residents.
Care needs to be taken for physical, infrastructure, city transport planning and environmental considerations of the whole region to prevent haphazard growth and scattered settlements. Open spaces, parks, recreational areas, green belts and plantation should be properly organised to provide environmental functions such as control of microclimate and environmental pollution.