The Parliamentary standing committee on environment, science and technology, during its visit to the city on Thursday, expressed concerns over increasing pollution in Mumbai, asking the state and local administration to take steps to control it.
The delegation of 31 Members of Parliament, led by Dr T Subbarami Reddy, met chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and senior bureaucrats, including chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad, municipal commissioner, Subodh Kumar, to review the condition of the environment in the state.
The delegation addressed issues such as pollution, new coastal regulatory zone norms and the sustained efforts needed to increase forest cover.
The delegation also cited the Hindustan Times’s report dated February 16 that air pollution was causing respiratory ailments among children.
The HT report was based on a two-year-long survey conducted by the civic body among 1,163 school students.
A press release issued by the state said that the delegation told government officials that “we must preserve the
environment for the sake of our children”.
The state is now preparing an action plan to control pollution levels. Kumar outlined various measures planned by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, including increasing green zones, monitoring construction sites and decreasing the level of smoke from dumping grounds.
Officials from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board admitted that there has been a steady increase in the respirable suspended particulate matter in Mumbai due to vehicular pollution and rampant construction.
“The state government has said that it will increase air monitoring stations in the city to keep a check on pollution levels,” a senior government official said, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak on the subject.
“Officials told the delegation that the Mumbai metro and monorail were expected to reduce the dependence on private vehicles.”