The city of Mumbai is taking urgent measures to address its severe air pollution problem, including implementing a response plan and evaluating anti-pollution technologies.
In response to persistently high levels of air pollution in Mumbai, the city has proposed four emergency actions to combat the issue. These actions include immediately stopping all construction activities, restricting the entry of trucks and heavy vehicles, shutting down polluting installations, and enforcing an odd-even scheme for private vehicles. These measures would be implemented if the air quality index with PM2.5 and PM10 levels remains at 300ug/m3 or 500ug/m3 respectively for 48 hours, indicating very severe pollution.
To further improve air quality, technology providers have been requested by industries and the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) to install pollution control devices at selected locations in the city. To evaluate the effectiveness of these technologies, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has established an evaluation committee consisting of private industries, technology providers, MPCB and BMC officers. The committee will review and assess the techniques based on criteria such as efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental impact. It will also develop a standard evaluation framework and regularly monitor the performance of these technologies.
The implementation of the graded response action plan (GRAP) at the ward level is crucial for addressing different levels of air pollution in Mumbai. The GRAP brings together multiple stakeholders and authorities to prevent further deterioration of air quality once it reaches a certain threshold. This is particularly important during episodic rises in pollution levels due to winter weather conditions.
Monitoring data indicates that the air quality in Maharashtra ranges from satisfactory to moderately polluted. Non-attainment city action plans have been prescribed to improve air quality in these conditions. In severe air quality conditions, actions such as stopping diesel generator sets, increasing parking fees to discourage private vehicles, and improving public transportation services have been suggested. In moderate to poor conditions, measures include stopping the burning of garbage, sprinkling water or mechanized washing of roads, and controlling industrial emissions. Additionally, the smooth flow of traffic and strict implementation of pollution under control (PUC) norms for vehicles are emphasized.
Overall, the response plan and evaluation of anti-pollution technologies in Mumbai demonstrate the city’s commitment to addressing its air pollution problem. By implementing these measures, Mumbai aims to improve air quality and protect public health.