Navi Mumbai: Plea to form panel to check air quality in Kharghar-Taloja belt
Panvel mayor Kavita Choutmal has demanded an expert committee to study the deteriorating air quality in Kharghar after the Waatavaran Foundation revealed that the residents of Kharghar-Taloja-Panvel belt were breathing polluted air for 17 hours a day.
The NGO installed a giant-sized billboard with ‘breathing’ lungs at Kharghar’s Utsav chowk on January 15 to demonstrate the lethal impact of polluted air on human health.
Choutmal visited the giant-sized billboard on Saturday.
“Air pollution is a major concern and the civic body’s environment department will work on finding measures. We will try to form an expert committee in the coming days with the help of the environment department of the civic body ,” said Choutmal.
Titled as ‘The Billboard that Breathes’ these artificial lungs have been put up near Sector 7. Kharghar.
The giant pair of lungs are made up of a white filter medium. A pair of fans are fixed at the back of the billboard, which suck in the air. Gradually, particulate matter will get trapped in the filters and change colour from chalk-white to brown to black. The billboard is also fitted with a digital air quality monitor that records and displays the real-time Air Quality Index (AQI).
“In 15 days, it will show how much pollution exists in the area. The giant lungs billboard is a way to create awareness about the health impacts of air pollution. When we placed a similar billboard in Bandra, Mumbai it took 14 days to go completely black but in Kharghar the colour has begun changing a day after installation itself,” said Bhagwan Keshbhat, founder of the foundation.
Sudhir Srivastava, chairman, MPCB, said, “Such visuals are important to raise awareness about finer particles bringing out a vivid image on how they impact the lungs. Air quality spikes could be mostly due to vehicular emissions in these areas.”