Gujarat: 50% of monitoring stations record pollution levels over the allowed limits.

33 out of 62 pollution monitoring centers in Gujarat reached levels of PM10 above 99 microgramscubic meter in 2020-21 . The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has highlighted a lack of air quality control stations in Gujarat .

AHMEDABAD: According to the report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, 33 out of the 62 pollution monitoring centers in Gujarat reached levels of PM10 above 99 microgramscubic meter in 2020-21, the maximum being 60 microgramscubic meter.The CAG has also highlighted a lack of air quality control stations in Gujarat, particularly in urban and industrial belts.On Thursday, the state assembly tabled the CAGs Performance Audit of Air Pollution Control by Government of Gujarat report for 2020-21.The concentration of two important pollutants, PM10 and PM2.5, had increased from 2011-12 to 2018-19, suggesting a drastic change in AAQ (Ambient Air Quality) in the state, according to the survey.

The GPCB said that factors such as rapid urbanization, industrial development, and an increase in the number of vehicles have also contributed to the increase in PM10 concentrations.For its part, the report suggested that the government should develop the GPCB's human resources to monitor all 12 important pollutants.According to the report, the government should expedite the establishment of AAQ-monitoring stations in areas that are not covered by the current surveillance scheme.It has been suggested that the government monitors the ambient air quality in other areas, such as industrial estates that belong to the GIDC (Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation), and that the initiatives to combat highly polluting industries be prioritized.

In addition, the CAG wants the government to consider adopting multi-fuel energy sources for power generation in order to satisfy the demand and minimize the impacts of coal-based thermal power plants, according to the CAG.To discourage the use of fly ash in building and other industries, the CAG suggested that the government directs its departments, such as roads and buildings, urban regeneration, and urban housing, as well as panchayats and rural housing.The CAG has urged the government to ensure the strictest execution of PUC (Pollution Under Control) laws and to establish a system to facilitate regular quality checks of fuel sold at petrol stations.AAQ was not being monitored in major industrial estates like Viramgam, Mandal, Waghodia, Bardoli, Chhatral, Kalol, Sanand, and Surendranagar, according to the auditor.