FIFA U-17 World Cup: Navi Mumbai factories told to stop work to keep the air clean
The MPCB directed 13 textile industries using coal for their operations to stop work during match daysmumbai Updated: Oct 06, 2017 09:00 IST
As the FIFA under-17 World Cup kicks off on Friday, the state pollution control board has asked polluting factories, located in Nerul’s DY Patil Stadium, where matches are to be held, to either suspend operations or cut down production to ensure clean air during the sporting event.
The move bears significance because Navi Mumbai recorded the most polluted air across 10 air quality monitoring stations in the city on Thursday with an air quality index (AQI) – pollutant measuring indicator — of 215, which falls under the ‘poor’ category, according to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). The air quality is expected to worsen on Friday as SAFAR predicted an AQI of 247 (poor). Mumbai recorded an AQI of 133 on Thursday, falling under the moderate category.
An AQI level between 0-100 is good, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 is poor and 301 and above is very poor.
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) directed 13 textile industries using coal for their operations (for broilers) to stop work during match days. Five chemical factories in Navi Mumbai and Turbhe have been asked to reduce their production by 50% so that there is significant reduction in emissions. All ready-mix-concrete (RMC) plants, stone crushing and 11 asphalt mixing plants have been asked to halt operations as well.
The World Cup schedule has eight matches at DY Patil Stadium, which will be played across five days — October 6, 9 and 12 — under the group stages and October 18 and 25 will be the round of 16 and the semi-final. While India will not be playing any matches in Navi Mumbai, New Zealand, Turkey, Mali, Paraguay, USA and Columbia are all slotted to play the group stages. All matches are scheduled from 5pm onwards.
MPCB officials said the idea was to ensure the area around DY Patil stadium had clean air, no water pollution or noise pollution during the World Cup, which is being held for the first time in India.
“The idea is to minimise any risk in the area and therefore a survey was conducted by our regional officer to check polluting industries and ensure the best possible ways to improve the air quality and reduce particulate pollution (PM10 and PM2.5). We have checked whether each of these industries are following rules as per the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 andNoise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000,” said P Anbalagan, member secretary, MPCB.
He said during a meeting earlier this week, the transport department and the Mumbai traffic police had been directed to stop the movement of heavy vehicles in the area a day prior and on match days and ensure smooth movement of traffic so that nitrogen dioxide levels could be controlled.
A digital display board has been setup by the MPCB opposite the stadium displaying real-time ambient air quality levels, said officials.
MPCB’s regional officer told HT that guidelines had been issued to the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) and stadium authorities. “According to an agreement between FIFA and NMMC, all bottles during the event need to be collected and recycled. We will be overseeing this. Specific directions for road cleaning and sprinkling of water will be done at the parking areas of the stadium to minimise dust pollution,” said Anil Mohekar, regional officer, MPCB.
An official from a private industry that has both chemical and textile units in Navi Mumbai said all directions by MPCB will be strictly adhered to. “Our emission levels are already under control. However, we will follow guidelines and guarantee that the World Cup will not be affected by emission from any of our industrial units, even if it means stopping work till October 25,” the official said.