The state government will launch an air quality improvement plan within a month, said a senior official of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). The source apportionment studies for the plan have already been jointly undertaken in 10 cities by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Powai. “Maharashtra has the largest network of air quality monitoring stations. There are 78 stations and another 16 will be added soon,” Dr P Anbalagan, member-secretary of MPCB, told The Indian Express.
“The air quality improvement action plan is being prepared and it will be launched within a month,” said Anbalagan. Once the plan is released, action will be taken to ensure industries use clean fuel, while large-scale industries will be directed to reduce the usage of polluting products such as coal, said MPCB officials.
The source apportionment studies were carried out in Pune, Mumbai, Nashik, Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad, Solapur, Kolhapur, Nanded, Chandrapur and Nagpur last year. As part of the continuous process, comprehensive data on sources of pollution — such as industries, vehicles, thermal power plants and restaurants, among others — were collected. On the studies conducted in 10 cities, NEERI director Dr Rakesh Kumar said the emission inventory — on the amount of pollutants discharged into the atmosphere — is ready and the final report is being prepared. “The aim is to investigate all sources of emission and then prepare an action plan,” he said.