Mumbai: The city has been covered in a thick blanket of haze consecutively and the air quality has worsened with AQI value standing at 309, in 'very poor' category. While some experts have attributed the poor AQI to a combination of meterological factors and others like ongoing construction, vehhicular emissions etc, some others have sounded an alarm and called for implementation of emergency response system like Delhi's.
Reportedly, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had alerted the municipal corporations for such day.
A report in the Hindustan Times quoted the joint director of MPCB, VM Motghare, saying that the Union government had approved clean air programme for the state and that the board had sent letters to all civic bodies to take appropriate steps if the AQI worsens.
Simultaneously, Motghare called for mechanical sweeping to reduce dust particles on road and said that MPCB had put restrictions on burning of bio mass and said that the agency has suggested having processing plants for construction, demolition debris.
The reported quoted another official saying that the haze is particulate matter or construction dust which is hanging as high as 15-18 floors. He further added that there's a need to install air quality sensors at construction sites. He further added that action plan to control pollution has to be based on combination of weather outlook, local sources and air quality data of many years.
Experts weigh in
Ronak Sutaria, founder of Respirer Life Sciene, was also quoted saying that action plans like stopping heavy diesel vehicles from plying, halt on construction activities and recommending health precautions helps combat such episodes.
Last year, the state government planned to implement an emergency response system along the lines of Delhi's graded plan to combat air pollution. It has a set measures which are implemented in phases as air quality deteriorates.
Recently, Delhi municipal corporation had imposed a ban on non-essential construction activities etc to improve the air quality in the city.
For Maharashtra, according to HT report, MPCB had categorised air quality in four stages based on daily concentration on pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10. Activities such as sprinkling water, dust sweeping, erection of anti-smog guns will be put into action if air quality touches severe quality for 48 hours.
Avick Sil, director of Enviro Policy Research Institute, also called for an audit of the status of GRAP that the state drafted. He said that the civic agencies should be looking at sustainable solutions.
No action from authorities yet
Even as Mumbai's air has worsened, state government has not still implemented effective measures to curb the same. Principal secretary of the state's environment department was quoted saying otherwise. Pravin Darad, principal secretary, said that the authorities are constantly monitoring the situation.
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