PATNA: The state capital, which is among the 16 most polluted cities of the country, is now the second city in eastern India, next only to Kolkata, with a continuous (online) ambient air quality monitoring (CAAQM) station. next to Kolkata.
Set up by Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB), the CAAQM station was inaugurated by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi at the Indira Gandhi planetarium here on Friday. “In the days to come, Muzaffarpur and Gaya will have similar CAAQM stations. All remaining districts will have at least one manual air quality monitoring station soon,” Modi said while inaugurating the station.
“We cannot control the increasing number of three-wheelers which are the main source of small particulate matter (SPM) pollution in the state. Therefore, we are planning to introduce CNG here too, on the pattern of Delhi”, he said.
Modi said the government has already introduced ‘Green Tax’. “Earlier, the government used to take less tax from old vehicles (15 year old), but as old ones are one of the major reasons for pollution, the state has imposed ‘Green Tax’ on old vehicles,” he said.
Talking about the other forms of pollution, Modi asked the pollution control board to raid shops selling pressure horns. He also said that the city would soon have ‘noise monitoring system’ at five locations in the city.
“The use of adulterated fuel and deforestation are the major reasons for environmental pollution in the city,” said BA Khan, the state’s principal chief conservator of forests. SK Gupta, chairman, Envirotech Online Equipment Private Limited, said, “This (CAAQM) station will monitor air pollution and also generate data like at which time it is the highest.” He added that Patna needed more than one CAAQM station.
A Delhi-based company, Envirotech Online Equipment has been entrusted with the task of running the station, set up at a cost of Rs 95 lakh, for the next five years.
The LCD monitor outside the planetarium would display the standard limit and present limit of small particulate matter (SPM), gas pollutants (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and benzene) and meteorological parameter like wind speed, wind direction, ambient temperature, relative humidity and solar radiation.