SUBJECT : Pollution

The Government plans to set up air quality monitoring stations, which are presently functional at 10 places, in more cities in the country.

The air quality monitoring stations is also proposed to be expanded to cover the state capital as well as those cities having a population of more than 46-million, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar infomed Rajya Sabha today.

Presently, air quality data for cities -- Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Agra and Faridabad -- are connected to Air Quality Index (AQI), which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 6 this year to disseminate air quality information, he said.

The AQI has six categories of air quality which include good, satisfactory, moderately polluted, poor, very poor and severe with distinct colour schemes, the Minister said.

Each of these categories are associated with likely health impact and considers eight pollutants, Javadekar said.

Responding to another question, the Minister said that the Government has notified environmental norms for polluting industries to control air pollution under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. These norms are to be complied with by all the industries.

Besides, the Government has also notified emission standards for on-road vehicles and mass emission standards for new vehicles under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

The Minister, in response to another question, said that according to the World Health Organisation, the level of PM-10 shows that 10 Indian cities were among 29 most polluted cities in the world, whereas the level of PM-2.5 puts 13 Indian cities among top 20 most polluted cities in the world.

The data which are of 2008 and 2013, recognises the variability in available data across the cities and nations in terms of completeness, sources, period of availability methods of measurement, monitoring, locations among others.


Source: 7 May, 2015, The Times of India