GUNTUR: Depletion of greenery, and sharp rise in construction activities and vehicular pollution have taken a toll on Guntur’s air quality.
As per a Central Pollution Control Board (PCB) report, Guntur is one of the 102 cities in the country that does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).
Four other cities – Vijayawada, Nellore, Kurnool and Visakhapatnam – from the state also made it to the list.
So, the district administration, after instructions from the National Green Tribunal (NGT), has started taking measures to bring the air quality within the prescribed standard.
In a recent meeting with district officials, Collector I Anand Kumar said the State unit of the PCB has suggested conducting 104 tests.
While the PM-10 safe limit is 60 microgram per cubic metre, it has reached 65 micrograms per cubic metre in Guntur, he informed.
Civic body officials were asked to take up plantation drive, and remove garbage piles from roads and shift them to dumping yards every day; transport department was directed to stop issuing fitness certificate to vehicles more than 15 years old.
Officials were also asked to expedite construction of CC roads to avoid dust.
Meanwhile, the APPCB was requested to prepare timely action plans, for 3 months, 6 months and one year, to address the situation.
Every department was asked to coordinate with others and take steps to bring down pollution.
The collector added nodal officers would be appointed so that they can help officials reach their target. GMC commissioner Srikesh B Lathkar, district legal services authority judge L Tejovathi, transport department deputy commissioner E Meera Prasad and APPCB’s environment engineer VR Maheswara Rao also part in the meeting.