A Right to Information (RTI) query by Waatavaran Foundation revealed that the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) had given a no objection certificate (NOC) to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to set up a continuous ambient air quality monitoring station (CAAQMS) in Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai.
Panvel / Navi Mumbai: The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has obtained a no objection certificate (NOC) from the Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) for setting up a continuous ambient air quality monitoring station (CAAQMS) in Kalamboli. Soon, Kharghar and Taloja MIDC will be having one CAAQMS each.
The revelation came in after an RTI query by Waatavaran Foundation, on 8 March, found that the PMC had already given an NOC to MPCB for setting up a CAAQMS in Kalamboli, while clearance for other two nodes was being processing.
Bhagwan Keshbat, founder of Waatavaran Foundation, shared, “I think every aware individual knows about the level of pollution in the Kharghar-Taloja-Panvel belt, which is shockingly higher than that in Mumbai. The Taloja MIDC area is the hotspot, owing to the existing chemical units and their daily polluting emissions. On top of that, emissions from vehicles passing through the highway, the quarry and construction activity of buildings, are making it worse for the residents. We have been campaigning for clean air for all and have been actively seeking participation of all stakeholders to tackle the pollution crisis in the area.”
Talking on the need for CAAQMS in the region, especially in the Kharghar-Taloja-Panvel belt, Keshbhat shared, “In the absence of CAAQMS in these areas, there is hardly and documented data to work out an action plan to curb the pollution. To take action, we first need well-documented numbers on a daily basis to take practical action. We had carried out two individual studies in the past, one by placing a small air monitoring machine in some areas with visibly high pollution, and two, by placing a “Billboard That Breathes” installation at Kharghar, that helped residents and even the administration get a real time reference of the high level of particulate matter (PM2.5) in the area. The results of both the studies had been alarming, and the administration had been concerned by the findings.”
The data revealed the PM2.5 levels to be 101.12 microgramme per cubic metre (μg/m3), higher than the national safe standard of 60μg/m3, and the World Health Organization (WHO) standard of 25μg/m3.
The reports were sent to all stake holders like the PMC, MPCB and the state government for their perusal and they had assured of a practical action in the coming months.
The permission to set up a CAAQMS in Kalamboli just a month after the reports were sent to the administration indicates willingness to change the situation.
Navi Mumbai currently has four CAAQMS – Mahape, Airoli and Nerul (sectors 46 and 19A).
The addition of three more CAAQMS will help monitor Navi Mumbai from both districts – Thane and Raigad.
“We appreciate the step taken by the PMC and that of the MPCB, by initiating a process to at least study the levels of air pollution in the city. Once the air quality starts getting monitored on a daily basis, the administration will be able to carry out the necessary changes based on actual figures, something that they presently lack,” Keshbhat said.
Last Updated on March 12, 2021 by lp@admin