Solan, Sep 18: With vehicular emissions emerging as the lead cause of air pollution in various industrial clusters, the State Pollution Control Board has proposed phasing out of more than 10-year-old commercial diesel vehicles in the state.The measure also follows a rebuff from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for the failure to attain the National Ambient Air Quality (NAAQ) Norms since 2011.
The state board is supposed to undertake requisite measures to attain the optimum level of NAAQ.However, the state government is yet to take a call on this issue as transporters comprised a major lobby which could influence the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha polls.
Reports indicate that emissions from diesel vehicles is carcinogenic in nature and one diesel vehicle causes pollution equivalent to 24 petrol vehicles or 40 CNG vehicles. The board officials had based their proposal on this plea for phasing out more than decade-old commercial diesel vehicles.
An environmental study conducted by IIT, Kanpur, in 2014 had also stated that vehicular emissions accounted for 81 per cent of air pollution in the state’s industrial hub of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh.
As many as seven cities in various industrial clusters have to abide by the NAAQ norms and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has listed them as non-attainment cities. Barring Sundernagar, all cities are located in the industrial clusters and they comprised Baddi, Damtal, Kala Amb, Nalagarh, Paonta Sahib and Parwanoo.
The level of particulate matter (PM) 10 in these cities was above the permissible limit with Kala Amb in Sirmaur district and Damtal in Kangra district showing the most adverse results since 2011. As against the permissible PM10 limit of 60 µg/ m³, its value ranged from 118 to 83 in a majority of these cities in the recent years. Improvement was only found in Parwanoo where against the earlier value of 87 µg/ m³, its presence was reduced to 61. The level of nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide was, however, found to be normal.
PM10 is usually contributed by burning of fuels, dust from construction sites, forest fire, industrial operations, scrap burning as well as dilapidated roads and it causes several health issues.
A recent meeting convened by the officials of the CPCB on this issue with the regional officials of the State Pollution Control Board also took note of the measures undertaken to reduce PM10 emissions.“Though an action plan was being formulated for various industrial clusters, in the absence of coordination from other departments all remedial measures have not been initiated to check such emissions,” said the regional officer of the SPCB, Baddi.
Dr Manoj Chauhan, principal scientific officer, SPCB, said a proposal to phase out more than 10-year-old diesel vehicles had been put up before the state government some time ago, but no decision had been taken in this regard.
Source Tribune India