Report red-flags air pollution level in Gaya, MuzaffarpurUpdated: Sep 24, 2020, 21:53 IST
The rising air pollution levels require immediate mitigation measures and future infrastructure and growth for the city should be planned only after evaluating the impacts and consequences of the potential environmental damage, says the ‘Gaya and Muzaffarpur Clean Air Action Plan (GCAAP) reports’ released by the Centre for Environment Energy and Climate Change (CEECC), a Bengaluru-based technology-policy think tank.
The holy city of Gaya, which attracts lakhs of tourists during normal times every year to the Mahabodhi Temple, a UNESCO world heritage site, and ancient Vishnupad temple, has been placed among the five worst polluted cities in the world in terms of particulate matter (PM), as per a 2018 World Health Organisation (WHO) report.
The CEECC report, released on Wednesday by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi at the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) in Patna, says the major sources contributing to the deteriorating air quality of Gaya city are transportation, brick kilns, and dust emission from road re-suspension.
Emission from transportation sector was found to be the most, contributing to 42% of the total PM2.5 emission load. It is estimated to increase by 95% by 2030 from the baseline emissions (2018). It has recommended promoting the use of electric/CNG vehicles and incentivising the installation of diesel particulate filters (DPF) as few of the measures to reduce pollution levels in Gaya.
Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) is also planning to set up 24 air monitoring stations in 23 districts of the state in an effort to achieve time-bound air quality management.
Transport emission was followed by dust (including road dust and construction dust), domestic (including heating, cooking, and lighting), and brick kilns contributing 18%, 17% and 10%, respectively, in 2030.
It has estimated that the city would generate around 300 tonnes per day (TPD) of solid waste by 2030. Gaya would need an additional 120 TPD of composting plants and 35 TPD dry-waste collection centres for proper waste management by 2030. The Gaya municipality would require at least Rs 28 crore (capital cost) for installing these plants.
Another report was also released on Muzaffarpur, one of the 20 most polluted cities in the world (WHO, 2019) in terms of particulate matters (PMs) and has also been identified as one of the non-attainment cities under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Heavy industries, including power plants, and transportation sector were found to be the biggest contributors, accounting of 34% and 24% respectively.
Sharing concerns over the deteriorating air quality of Gaya and Muzaffarpur, Dipak Kumar Singh, principal secretary, department of environment, forest and climate change, said that a state level committee has been constituted by the government to implement the control measures suggested in the report. “The department is planning to plant trees along the roads instead of end to end pavement construction as one important measure,” he said.