The nine cities where the emissions have increased include the state capital Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Latur, Kolhapur, Jalna, Chandrapur and Aurangabad.
In a setback to the fight against air pollution, nine of the 18 cities of Maharashtra which are part of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) have registered an increase in harmful emissions in the year 2019. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board in its report has said that the cities registered an increase in the Particulate Matter (PM) 10 levels in 2019 as compared to the 2017 emissions, the Indian Express reported.
The nine cities where the emissions have increased include the state capital Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Thane, Latur, Kolhapur, Jalna, Chandrapur and Aurangabad. The central government in January 2019 had launched the NCAP scheme under which it had zeroed in on 102 cities in the country which did not meet the air quality standards prescribed by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Being one of the geographically largest and highly industrialised states of the country, 18 cities were chosen from Maharashtra under the programme. The government had also asked these cities to develop a comprehensive plan to tackle the menace of air pollution.
While Nagpur and Thane registered an increase of about 18 and 17 percent rise in the PM 10 levels in comparison to the 2017 levels respectively, the state capital Mumbai’s PM 10 emissions remained the same. The state Pollution Control Board in its report highlighted the fact that all nine cities which have registered a spike in the emissions are developing cities undergoing lots of construction work(residential societies, Metro, roads) which has led to more dust emissions which is one of the major constituents of PM 10.
Apart from construction work, landfill sites, agriculture, industrial emissions, burning of waste are some of the other causes behind the PM 10 emissions. Under the NCAP programme the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board has released financial aid for the implementation of the comprehensive plan to tackle air pollution to the tune of Rs 30.65 crore. The cities which have received the aid from the pollution control board include Mumbai(Rs 9.5 crore), Pune (Rs 9.45 crore), Navi Mumbai (Rs 5.58 crore) and Nagpur (Rs 5.85 crore), as per the Indian Express report.
In multiple surveys and pollution analysis conducted by the world agencies, India has more than 50 percent of the world’s 20 most polluted cities. The National Capital Region including Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon are notoriously polluted in terms of air quality. Two of India’s most vital river systems- Ganga and Yamuna- also come under some of the most polluted rivers of the world. The central government has been trying to reduce Ganga water pollution for close to three decades now without any tangible results.