The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Thursday agreed that the polluted air of neighboring cities is deteriorating the air quality index (AQI) of Chandigarh, which has not cultivated emission, huge construction and industrial emission. NGT also stressed on the fulfillment of nine agendas set up for Chandigarh for ensuring clean air.
A virtual meeting between NGT and the Chandigarh Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was held under National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Justice Pritam Pal, chairman of NGT, headed the meeting. Chandigarh was among 102 cities identified as Non-Attainment Cities for not meeting the prescribed standards of air quality. This was first such meeting between the NGT and CPCB, focusing on air quality under the NCAP.
Director, UT environment, Debendra Dalai, represented CPCB in the meeting. “Indeed, the city’s AQI was a discussion point in the meeting. We put our side with statistics and previous data of AQI. We also informed NGT about the possible reasons, including stubble burning, industrial emission in the neighboring states behind the worsening air quality of Chandigarh. The NGT agreed on our submission. There were nine other agendas also, which were discussed at length,” said Dalai.
The nine agendas included the installation of the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring stations (CAAQMS), undertaking Source Apportionment (SA) and Carrying Capacity (CC) studies in the city, review of Master Plans in the light of CC/SA studies to identify areas where carrying capacity cannot sustain industrial or non-conforming activities, development of Public Grievance Redressal Portal, revisiting of NCAP and use of CAMPA funds, remedial action for control of noise pollution including procurement of monitoring devices and installation of noise limiters, finalisation of Emergency Response System and coordination with disaster management committees, status of Consent and EC Funds and Action Plan for the utilisation of the same and Bio remediation of legacy waste dump site.
CPCB informed the NGT that SA and CC study cannot be held due to the delay related to Covid-19 pandemic. Eight interested parties with the consultation of the Technical Evaluation Committee and five parties are qualifying the criteria.
Though Chandigarh required three manual and five CAAQMS to be installed as per the criteria, it has five Manual Air Monitoring Stations and one CAAQMS in Chandigarh in Sector 25. Two more are in the procurement stage and as per the criteria of CPCB, two more will be procured in the next financial year.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines