Mumbai is breathing a large amount of harmful pollutants, shows ministry report

NYOOOZ , Tuesday, April 03, 2018
Correspondent :
From 2014 to 2016, seven major towns and cities around Mumbai, majorly home to industries, had the highest concentration of two harmful air pollutants -- sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) -- in India, according to a report submitted by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in Rajya Sabha earlier this week. The report identified Nanded, Dombivli, Ambernath, Badlapur, Ulhasnagar, Thane and Bhiwandi, apart from Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune, Ghaziabad, Dehradun, Jamshedpur, Delhi, Kolkata, Barrackpore, and Faridabad, as most polluted towns and cities, with the highest levels of SO2 and NO2. While sulphur dioxide is produced from burning of fossil fuels (coal and oil) mostly by industries, nitrogen dioxide is emitted from cars, trucks and buses, power plants and off-road equipment. “Both the pollutants can have adverse effects on the respiratory system.

The long-term effects include asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), especially among children, and the elderly,” said D Saha, former additional director, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), who analysed the study.

“The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) needs to monitor the industries mentioned in the report for air pollution norm compliance.

A 500-m buffer zone needs to be created in residential areas too.”He said the concentration of air pollutants in Mumbai started to rise during the 2007-2012 period. “However, as all industries and mills have been phased out, they don’t pose a threat to the country’s financial capital as much as particulate matter,” said Saha. MPCB said their action plan to tackle harmful air pollutants for smaller towns and cities was almost ready.

“Last year, the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) was roped in to carry out a source-apportionment study of all cities and towns from Maharashtra that find a mention in the report.


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