Source: Indian Express | Posted on 27 August 2019
Thane has most polluting industries in state: Govt data
Thane has the highest number of polluting industries in the state at 48, followed by Aurangabad with 20 units, according to data released by the government’s ‘star rating’ programme to evaluate air pollution in areas of Maharashtra.
The programme, launched by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) in 2017, discloses information on industrial particulate matter (PM) emissions, a widespread air pollutant. PM10 and PM2.5 considered above safe limits include particles that are small enough to penetrate our windpipe and lungs.
The MPCB rates industries on a scale of one to five stars. The least polluting industries are rated five stars and the most polluting get one star. Since June 2017, the MPCB has till date analysed 414 industries spread across 32 districts. While 175 fall into the category of most polluting industries, 82 are the least polluting. Of the 82, the highest number of industries are found in Raigad at 23, followed by 13 in Kolhapur. The ratings are based on the average concentration of their latest stack samples (emissions from the chimney) for particulate matter.
Across 11 sectors, textile tops the chart as the most polluting in the state with 41 industries. Sugar and distilleries found in Aurangabad, Kolhapur and Sangli, among others, are a close second with 40 units falling in the most polluting category. The programme is jointly run by the MPCB, Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC-India) and a few other institutes.
“Every three months, the MPCB releases a report card for all the industries under its ambit. It also sends out notices to the most polluting industries and gives them three months to comply with pollution control norms,” said Ishan Choudhary, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, EPIC-India.
Following complaints about pollution from biomedical waste units, the state government included it as the 11th sector under its purview last week. The MPCB also launched 23 continuous air quality monitoring stations in June — there are now 101 such stations in the state. MPCB plans to add 100 more such stations within a year. Along with the industry rating, the state pollution control board also publishes city rating cards on its portal.