Source: Times of India | Posted on 29 December 2018
MPCB offers website to check on pollution
Aurangabad: University of Chicago and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) have tied up to create an interactive website under Maharashtra star rating programme, which shows high polluting industries. It will help citizens know the pollution levels and share their comments on steps to be taken to improve the air we breathe.
The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) has also produced a research-based online platform called Air Quality Life Index or AQLI. EPIC director Michael Greenstone said that AQLI estimates the relationship between air pollution and life expectancy, allowing users to view the gain in life expectancy they could experience if their community met World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, national standards or some other standard.
It shows that if air pollution stays within the recommended WHO limits, the life expectancy in major cities in Maharashtra will go up by several years. Good air quality can increase life expectancy of Aurangabad citizens by 2.9 years, the study shows.
Greenstone states that air pollution is a worldwide problem but the risks associated with it are communicated in a complicated manner, making it difficult for common man to understand. Based on the PM2.5 levels of the districts across the globe and WHO guidelines, the AQLI website calculates the life years lost per person.
Aurangabad has been recorded to have a PM2.5 value of 39.7ug/m3, while the WHO permissible PM2.5 limit is 10ug/m3. Therefore, the platform concludes that if WHO standards are met in Aurangabad, the life expectancy in the district can increase by 2.9 years.
It also states that life expectancy of other major cities in state can improve as follows — Thane 3.4 years, Mumbai 3.5 years, Pune 3.7 years, Nagpur 3.9 years, Nashik 2.8 years, Ahmednagar 3 years and Beed 3 years.
Ishan Choudhary, communications and outreach coordinator, EPIC India said that platforms like AQLI and Maharashtra Star Rating make it easier for information to be available to people in a form they can understand and be an equal stakeholder in the process of cleaning up the city’s air.
The star rating team is holding special workshops with the Marathwada Association of Small Scale Industries and Agriculture and the Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture to inform the industries about using the Maharashtra star rating website and its features to engage with the public on air pollution.