Install 175 air quality monitoring stations within 6 months: NGT

The National Green Tribunal has reportedly directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB ) to install 175 air quality monitoring stations across the country within six months.

The green panel directed the CPCB to monitor the work by holding periodical online meetings with the Chairman/Member Secretaries of state pollution control boards or other authorities.

It said the work in this regard may commence within one month and the funds available under the ‘consent mechanism’/’environmental compensation’ may be utilised for the purpose by the state pollution control boards.

bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel said,’It will be preferable that out of the above, 25 stations are set up by CPCB/State PCBs/PCCs jointly (with CPCB financing out of its EC funds), following an appropriate procedure to ensure best price and quality.’

The tribunal passed the order after perusing a report filed by CPCB that 173 stations have already been set up.

It also directed that Carrying Capacity and Source Apportionment studies may be simultaneously undertaken by the state pollution control boards utilising the ‘environmental compensation’ fund.

The concept of “carrying capacity” addresses the question as to how many people can be permitted into any area without the risk of degrading the environment there.

‘Work in this regard may commence within one month and completed in six months. State PCBs/PCCs will be at liberty to either undertake the study in-house or by hiring any other agencies.

‘However, as far as possible a uniform policy may be adopted in this regard which may be finalized by the CPCB in consultation with all State PCBs/PCCs,’ the bench said.

The tribunal also directs authorities to take steps dir prohibiting/shifting polluting activities which are found unsustainable/non conforming to other locations, in the interest of public health and protection of environment.

Expressing disapproval over the timeline to reduce air pollution, the National Green Tribunal had earlier directed the Environment Ministry to modify the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) which proposes 20-30 per cent reduction of air pollution by 2024.

With PTI Inputs