Palghar Grapples With Poor AQI Amidst Lack of Monitoring Infrastructure

Palghar Grapples With Poor AQI Amidst Lack of Monitoring Infrastructure

Even after nine years since the formation of Palghar district and the commencement of ongoing national development projects, the AQI in the district is not accurately measured and monitored.

Pankaj S RautUpdated: Monday, October 30, 2023, 06:20 PM IST
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Palghar Grapples With Poor AQI Amidst Lack of Monitoring Infrastructure |

Palghar: The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Palghar district, which neighbours Mumbai, remains equally poor and the continued absence of AQI monitoring in the district has allowed factors contributing to the rise in AQI to operate freely. Even after nine years since the formation of Palghar district and the commencement of ongoing national development projects, the AQI in the district is not accurately measured and monitored.

Causes of smog in the air

The soil filling work for the Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway, spanning 49.5 km in Palghar district, and the quadruplication of the Virar-Dahanu Road railway track, covering 63 km, has been ongoing for more than a year. Soil is transported over long distances without proper covering on earth-moving vehicles. The soil is abruptly dumped on-site, increasing dust in the air. Improper standard operating procedures for moving and dumping soil are identified as a major cause of smog in the air.

Additionally, production activities in stone quarries, construction activities, industrial air pollution, especially from Iron and Steel manufacturing units in Boisar, burning of stubble, and vehicular movement on unpaved roads in the district contribute to the increase in AQI.

Palghar district administration does not have its own air monitoring unit. There is an environmental laboratory in Tarapur Atomic Power Plant and Adani Power Project, but the results are not available online. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has installed an air monitoring device on the premises of the MIDC Office in Boisar and one industrial establishment in MIDC, but the results from these devices are unavailable online.

Virendra Singh, Sub-Regional Officer of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), who is in charge of Palghar District other than Tarapur MIDC, stated that they have to rely on the Air Monitoring System installed at Dahanu Thermal Plant. He added that the AQI index readings from that station are satisfactory.

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