Source: Hindustan Times | Posted on 05 June 2019
Particulate matter levels declined in Maharashtra in 2018-19: MPCB
There has been a 6% decline in particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels and 9% decline in PM10 levels across Maharashtra in 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) said.
Seven cities — Mumbai, Pune, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Akola, Kolhapur, and Nanded — witnessed reduction in particulate pollution levels through the implementation of stringent norms over the past year, the Air Quality Status of Maharashtra 2018-19 released by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on Tuesday said. However, MPCB did not share the methodology of how they calculated the reduction in emissions.
“Tighter emission norms, on-ground implementation of directions issued by MPCB, several awareness programs and focused clean air programs addressing emission sources have all led to a decline in particulate matter in seven cities and across Maharashtra,” said VM Motghare, joint director (air quality), MPCB. “Ten other cities with continuous air quality monitoring stations still have marginally high PM levels.”
On Tuesday, MPCB launched city rating cards under a five star rating basis for 17 cities in Maharashtra under MPCB’s star rating programme. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had identified 17 non-attainment cities (with PM10 and PM2.5 concentration above safe limits) and directed MPCB to develop action plans.
“The plan for Mumbai was studied by a team of experts and has been approved. Later this week or by next, the approved plan will be sent back to MPCB for implementation. As of now, vehicular and industrial emission, construction dust and solid fuel emissions are the highest threat. Mitigation measures for all sources have been addressed under the plan,” said VK Shukla, in-charge, air quality management, CPCB.
“Action plans have been approved for all 17 cities by the CPCB and implementation is in progress,” said Motghare. “Rate cards for these cities and monthly air quality bulletins will keep a check on pollution.”
MPCB also launched 23 continuous air quality monitoring stations in the state on Tuesday. Combined with manual stations, the tally has reached 101. “We are planning to take this to 200 within a year.”