Clean air mission - Pollution board chalks out plan for Dhanbad, Jharia
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- Published 31.08.09
|Smoking chimneys like these give Dhanbad its foul air. Picture by Gautam Dey|
Dhanbad, Aug. 31: Jharia and Dhanbad can finally hope to have clean air if the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board is able to implement a comprehensive plan it has chalked out to improve the air quality of the twin cities of the coal belt.
The plan, which includes a proposal to phase out old vehicles and shift environment-unfriendly industries out of city limits, has been based on the Delhi-Pune model, and would soon be placed before the governor’s council.
Elaborating on its salient features, the JSPCB regional pollution control officer of Dhanbad, Shamshul Hoda, said the plan calls for regular monitoring of vehicular pollution for which more emission testing centres had to be set up.
Dhanbad district has six such stations while a city like Patna has 24. This apart, more air quality monitoring centres were needed to be set up in addition to the three the district now has.
The plan proposes to set up a continuous air monitoring station with electronic display within a year.
Work on the plan began after the Supreme Court, in the late ’90s, expressed serious concern over the quality of air in seven cities, including Dhanbad, and called for immediate measures.
The ministry of environment and forest also kept up the pressure on the named cities.
“The plan calls for ensuring better quality air which is low in Sulphur content. Therefore, it recommends phasing out vehicles more than 15 years old,” Hoda added.
Use of less polluting alternative fuels, like compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), have also been suggested in the plan.
For better management of traffic, the plan recommends construction, broadening and strengthening of 12 major roads across the district. It also calls for the repair and construction of seven roads in the colliery areas.
Hoda was upbeat about the JSPCB plan. “The approval of the Jharia action plan _ to rehabilitate those who face eviction because of the raging underground fire _ may help the board speed up implementation of the plan,” he said.