The vows taken in the government departments followed by proclaimed campaigns of social-action groups and individuals towards healthy environment on World Environment Day every year appear "hollow" as the particulate pollution in the air continues to remain highest in the country and fourth highest in the world.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), having measured the particulate matter called PM 10 (total mass of particles of 10-micron diameter or smaller per cubic metre), which allows cross-country comparisons, had in September 2011 declared Lanzhou in the north-western province of Gansu in China and the city of Ludhiana in India as the most polluted cities in the world.
However, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) superintending engineer (SE) Karunesh Garg differs from WHO, stating that their criteria weren't accurate.
"The industrial pollution is within limits as almost all units have air pollution control devices. The main cause of air pollution is anthropogenic activity in Ludhiana. Emission from diesel vehicles, auto rickshaws using adulterated fuel when added with dust on roads becomes high respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM)," Garg said.
Giving an overview of the pollution control efforts, the official said nine out of 11 outlets throwing effluent waste of industrial units in Budha Nullah have been closed and the remaining two would also be closed at the earliest.
A common effluent treatment plant (CETP) to treat industrial water is already under construction and the other one will be constructed in clusters. The first module will be operational in mid July.
Coming to solid waste management, the municipal corporation has already engaged a private company, A to Z, for door to door collection and management of waste, the official went on to add.