VIJAYAWADA: Air pollution in the State has reached an alarming stage and is damaging the ecological balance of Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur, Nellore and Kurnool, Anumita Roy Chowdhury, Executive Director-Research and Advocacy, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), warned.
Delivering her keynote address at a workshop jointly organised by the CSE and AP Pollution Control Board (PCB) here on Monday, Anumita underscored the need for drafting an action plan in order to make these cities free of pollution, which might cause people to suffer from respiratory problems, cancer and skin allergies.
Keeping in view the air quality in Delhi, which according to a WHO survey is the worst of any major city in the world, she suggested the State government draft environmental policies in order to save Andhra Pradesh from suffering the same fate. “If the government fails to do so, the air quality in the State will continue to deteriorate amid the government’s plans to establish new industries here.” However, she added the State’s air quality was better as compared to some other states.
Observing that construction activities gained momentum post the state bifurcation, Anumita urged the government to introduce vehicles that did not cause air pollution for public transportation.“The Road Transport Authority (RTA) should launch an extensive drive to curb plying of vehicles that do not comply with current requirements and initiate steps to promote battery-operated vehicles,” Anumita added.
Meanwhile, APPCB Chairman BSS Prasad said 64 air quality monitoring stations were regularly collecting data of air pollution levels across the State. He informed that APPCB submitted its draft action plan to the Central PCB during a workshop with stakeholders in Visakhapatnam in July 2017.
He added the Central PCB has instructed the APPCB to submit financial estimates to take necessary steps for making cities free of pollution.