MPCB submits plan to combat air pollution; if approved by the CPCB, it will be implemented immediately in Mumbai and Aurangabad

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The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has submitted air pollution mitigation plans for 17 cities in the state four months after the deadline, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said.

The suggested measures include adopting the most advanced emission standard for automobiles, daily pollution checks for vehicles and increasing the tree cover.

If approved by the CPCB, it will be implemented immediately in Mumbai and Aurangabad before being replicated in the other cities.

The 850-page document looks at sector-wise pollution sources for 17 cities, the highest number for any state in India.

CPCB, which is part of a committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) earlier this year, is expected to review the plan submitted by the MPCB this month. “If they [the action plans] are approved, CPCB will ask the state board to implement them immediately,” Shukla said.

According to the action plan, half of the pollution in the 17 cities is attributed to vehicular pollution (30%) to construction activity (20%). The remaining 50% comprises industrial emissions, cement batching plants, biomass burning (residential and open), the contribution of aviation, shipping, open waste burning and windblown dust from dry and arid regions.

“Keeping these sources in mind, the action plan suggests targets for reducing pollutants such as particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), sulphur dioxide (Sox) and nitrogen dioxide (Nox) below or at least at par with CPCB safe standards by 2022,” said Ravindran.

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