Source: The Hitavada | Posted on 01 September 2019
MPCB on track to ‘deliver clean air by 2022’ in State
Nagpur, Sept.1: MAHARASHTRA Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is on track for ‘Deliver Clean Air by 2022’ mission and it has initiated various measures in this direction, said Dr V M Motghare, Joint Director (Air), MPCB, while addressing a seminar organised by Delhi-based communications initiative Climate Trends at Mumbai. Dr Motghare was among the speakers who deliberated on air pollution’s impact on Maharashtra’s goal of becoming a trillion dollar economy. Dr Rakesh Kumar, Director of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur; Prof S N Tripathi, Member of the core committee for implementation of National Clean Air Plan (NCAP); Dr Sundeep Salvi of Chest Research Foundation, and other experts participated in the discussion. Dr Motghare said that MPCB had been leading the way in monitoring industrial emissions.
Under the Star Rating programme, MPCB is monitoring 414 industries across 10 sectors since 2017 and targets to expand to 900 industries. The air quality plan for Mumbai has been principally approved, though after due modifications, within seven days, the plans are expected to be fully and finally approved by Central Pollution Control Board, he added. Dr Rakesh Kumar acknowledged that much was achieved and still a lot needed to be done in mitigating air pollution. “There has been a sea-change from the early 1990s in terms of fuel standardisation. The two-wheeler standards in India are one of the strictest in the world. We need to focus on urban planning to reduce emissions due to unplanned pedestrian movement, traffic snarls, and poor parking infrastructure,” he said. Prof S N Tripathi pointed out that industry, transport, unregulated wood burning for household cooking in slums of Mumbai, combined with meteorological factors had made air pollution a severe public health burden in Maharashtra. He stressed upon source-specific mitigation strategies and inter-departmental coordination for achievement of NCAP goals.
“India tops the number of deaths due to air pollution in the world. Air pollution affects lungs, heart, blood vessels, brain, cognitive abilities,” said Dr Sundeep Salvi. He observed that weight gain was attributable not only to what one ate but also to what one breathed. ‘Unknown Hurdles to A Trillion Dollar Economy’, a compilation report by Climate Trends, was released on the occasion. The report quoted World Bank report and NEERI assessment to point out that air pollution cost Delhi and Mumbai $10.66 billion in 2015, and that total monetary burden of air pollution was estimated at Rs 452.3 crore for a 50μg/m3 increase in PM10 level, and Rs 872.6 crore for a similar increase in NO2, only for Mumbai.‘Unknown Hurdles’ are keeping Maharashtra from becoming a trillion dollar economy, it added.