Action plan for six cities in Odisha to combat air pollution flagged off
According to a 2017 study, Roychowdhury said air pollution is the second largest risk factor in the State. In fact, the death rate per 1,00,000 population at 65.3 is quite similar to that of Delhi.
BHUBANESWAR: The State Government on Tuesday began the process of implementing the ‘Comprehensive Action Plan for Clean Air’ in six non-attainment cities of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Talcher, Angul, and Balasore.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi flagged off the process on the eve of World Environment Day at a high-level national orientation conclave on ‘Air Quality Management: Building Strategies for Clean Air’, held here. Speaking at the conclave, Padhi said people who pollute must pay with compensatory actions and people who violate must be punished to send across a message.
Jointly developed by Forest and Environment Department and Odisha State Pollution Control Board in association with New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the six-city action plan has been designed to enable time-bound reduction in air pollution levels. Of the six cities, industrial towns of Talcher, Angul and Rourkela have special challenge of reducing industrial emissions and mining impacts.
“The industrial and mining towns have to reduce particulate matter of 10 micrometre in diameter or less (PM10) level by at least 39 per cent (pc) to 45 pc and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) level by about 14 pc to 30 pc depending on the city from the current base line to meet the clean national ambient air quality standards,” said Executive Director for Research and Advocacy, CSE Anumita Roychowdhury.
Emerging cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Balasore need to reduce PM10 levels by 27 pc to 36 pc. The PM2.5 levels in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are close to meeting the standard whereas Balasore has to reduce it by 12 pc.
The number of days not meeting the national standard has gone up to 45 pc in 2017 from 26 pc in 2008 in Bhubaneswar, to 45 pc from 9.65 pc in Talcher and to 34.16 pc from 28 pc in Angul. It has, however, remained stable around 25 pc in Cuttack while it has declined from 54 pc to 45 pc in Rourkela. The clean air action plan is designed to arrest the trend and increase the number compliant days in worst performing cities.
According to a 2017 study, Roychowdhury said air pollution is the second largest risk factor in the State. In fact, the death rate per 1,00,000 population at 65.3 is quite similar to that of Delhi. If air quality improves, life expectancy of average citizens in Odisha can increase by about 1.2 years, she maintained.
Additional Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said while several measures have been taken, the next generation sectoral strategies incorporated in the action plan will help meet the national ambient air quality standards.