After a seven-member expert committee submitted its recommendation to BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), suggesting ways to curb air pollution in the city, the civic body has formulated its ward-wise action plan. In a circular issued by additional municipal commissioner Dr Sanjeev Kumar last month, the BMC had notified the need for ward-level task forces to be set up to take action against sources that give rise to air pollution.
In its latest move, the civic administration has now asked ward officers to submit a detailed report twice a month giving details on action taken against violators who do not follow dust mitigation measures. “A weekly report needs to be submitted by each task force on every Tuesday to the ward officer, who will submit their final action taken report on 5th and 20th of every month to the additional municipal commissioner and deputy municipal commissioner (Environment),” the circular stated. Violators will face action and the BMC plans to carry out sensitisation activities to increase public awareness.
As Mumbai’s air pollution refuses to abate, the 41-page ‘Mumbai Air Pollution Mitigation Plan’, had suggested task forces in all the 24 municipal wards, which will identify sources of air pollution and take action against violators. The city’s air quality is often ranked among the worst in the world, with high levels of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide. Vehicular emissions, industrial activities, construction sites, and open burning of waste are often the major contributors towards air pollution in Mumbai.
Earlier last week, a group of citizens who are part of Clean Air Mumbai (CAM) network had urged BMC to make efforts towards mitigation through a 10-year action plan. The CAM group, led by actor and environmentalist Dia Mirza along with Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz Foundation, also suggested ways to reduce vehicular emissions, measures to promote public transportation and encourage the use of clean energy sources.
The group presented a detailed action plan to combat the deteriorating air quality in one of the most populous cities of the world. They also pointed out the need for an institutional framework to tackle air pollution at the ground level. They urged the BMC for collaboration with urban local bodies, research institutions like National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, builders’ associations and civil society organisations.
Under the current mitigation plan, engineers and supervisors have to overlook construction works and ensure that debris and construction items are stacked and removed from the spot or be covered by tarpaulin sheets or jute clothes so that there is no displacement of dust. Greening landscape, daily watering of plants, avoiding loose storage of soil, scrapping of old vehicles, etc are also part of the immediate measures under the mitigation plan.