Most industries in red zone for air pollution
In a unique step, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) initiated a five star rating system in June this year to rate industries based on their emissions. A workshop under the programme was held at the Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (Bamu) on Monday to raise awareness about air pollution among students.
The workshop saw the presence of Ishaan Choudhari from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and Arkopal Datta from Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL). They spoke to the students and appealed to them to become serious about the deteriorating air quality, proactively participate in raising awareness about the same and hold the perpetrators of the pollution accountable.
On the lines of similar programmes in the United States, Canada, China, Ghana, Philippines and Ukraine, the MPCB initiated the programme. The Maharashtra programme will be the first to measure the impact on emissions with the help of researchers from the JPAL, EPIC, Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard University, and the Tata Centre for Development.
As per the MPCB five star rating, industries with emissions of PM 10 50 g/m3 or less qualify for a 5 star rating, those with PM10 emissions 100 or below get 4 star rating, those with 150 or below get 3 stars, those with 250 or below get 2 stars and those above 300 will drop to a 1 star rating.
In a damning revelation that emerged from the data put up on the MPCB website, most industries in Aurangabad have a 1 or 2 star ranking.
Geetanjali Kaushik, the director of environmental research and consultancy Maha-Parivesh, facilitated the programme at the environmental science department of Bamu. Kaushik welcomed the MPCB’s programme. “There has been a long pending demand for the provision of data regarding the air quality of Aurangabad. Finally, we have data available in the public domain and that too in an easy-to-understand format. The industries failing to comply with the environmental norms should now be held accountable,” she said.