Not a single city, of the 17 toxic cities in Maharashtra, have any action plan for reducing the pollution.
Maharashtra is the second largest state in India by population. With such large population, Maharashtra is also ranking second for the most polluted state in the country.
Maharashtra has the highest number of cities which are toxic. In contrast to this, cities have no air pollution action plan.
Maharashtra is not prepared to tackle air pollution even eight months after the Centre directed states to draw up an action plan.
Action plans prepared by cities such as Mumbai and Pune have been asked to revise their blueprints.
Officials from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) told HT that Maharashtra tops the list of cities that have failed to develop action plans followed by Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka.
the RTI response said.
“Cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Amravati, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Jalna and Latur have been requested to revise their action plans. And resubmit it to their state government and CPCB,” .
CPCB’s RTI response read. CPCB officials said they had not set any deadline for developing action plans.
But expected all state pollution control boards (SPCBs) to finalise them by June; latest by August.
“We had 51 action plans in January, 71 by June and more than 80 so far.
We have asked SPCBs to finalise these plans in consultation with state governments, which is why it is taking more time,” said A Sudhakar, member secretary, CPCB.
MPCB officials said all action plans will be ready and submitted by next month.
“The CPCB wanted us to develop integrated air pollution source apportionment plan, which we developed after consultations with stakeholders.
And guidance from National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and IIT-B for all 17 cities, which took some time.
CPCB has also circulated a template for air quality improvement across five parameters, which has been completed by 70% of the cities.
Some smaller municipal corporations have issues but within a month it will be complete,” said P Anbalagan, member secretary, MPCB.
Before the state gets engulfed in another season of air pollution post monsoon.
It is imperative to formulate time-bound action plans, said Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner at Greenpeace India.
Mumbai recorded the highest monthly average in Maharashtra with PM10 values remaining more than three times above the annual limit during December 2016.
The city’s 19 million population is at severe health risk from the polluted air.
“The sea breeze acts a natural cleanser for the air quality and helps to bring down the pollution levels.
Despite that if the levels are more than the standard limits, there is something wrong with the air quality of the city.
Especially when the other coastal cities in the south have satisfactory PM10 levels,” said Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner, Greenpeace India.”