PCMC forms Air Pollution Monitoring and Mitigation Squad to curb air pollution

Pune Pulse

PCMC's Air Pollution Control Team collects fine of Rs 2.17 lakh on single day( Pic for representation purpose only)

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Pimpri, November 8, 2023 :- Expressing concern over the deteriorating air quality, the Bombay High Court has directed the government to take immediate measures to prevent pollution. In this background, PCMC Commissioner and Administrator Shri. Shekhar Singh directed the concerned officials to take necessary measures to prevent pollution.

In one of the major steps, PCMC has established dedicated Air Pollution Monitoring and Mitigation Squads to rigorously enforce a comprehensive set of guidelines aimed at curbing air pollution across the region.

Under the newly implemented measures, all Assistant Commissioners responsible for the wards in PCMC are instructed to deploy 16 specialized Air Pollution Control Squads across the 32 wards. These squads are composed of experts including Deputy Engineers, Sanitary Inspectors, beat inspectors, and MSF personnel.

The Air Pollution Control Squad’s primary duty will be to visit construction sites within their respective wards and document them through photography or videography. If these visits reveal non-compliance with pollution control provisions, immediate actions such as imposing fines, issuing stop-work notices, or sealing the work site will be taken.

The squad will diligently record the number of notices issued, fines collected, and daily violations. Any violations will be dealt with in accordance with the Environment Protection Act of 1986, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981, and PCMC Bye-Laws.

Construction projects, both private and public, are required to erect tin/metal sheets around their perimeters, with different height specifications based on the project size. All construction activities, including demolition, are mandated to be covered, and sprinkled with water, and follow strict transportation guidelines. The water used for such measures to be taken from the recycled water of the nearest PCMC sewage treatment plant.

Moreover, PCMC is emphasizing on the installation of CCTV cameras at construction sites, the deployment of sensor-based air pollution monitors, and the use of personal protective equipment for construction personnel.

PCMC Commissioner Shri Shekhar Singh said that open burning of waste, including solid waste, is strictly prohibited, and citizens can report such incidents through the ‘Post a waste’ option at the Smart Sarathi app. A complete ban on open burning is enforced, especially at garbage dumping grounds and potential trash-burning sites.

As per the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directives and directions issued by the Supreme Court (order dated 12th November 2020), firecrackers bursting are only permitted between 07:00 pm and 10:00 pm to align with environmental directives.

Traffic departments and transport officials are mandated to enforce vehicular emission norms, ensuring valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates and monitoring vehicle overloading. Heavy-duty diesel vehicles not meeting emissions standards are strictly prohibited.

Dhabas, bakeries, restaurants, and hotels are urged to switch to cleaner alternatives. The use of DG sets is regulated, and air pollution from industries is closely monitored.

These measures are aligned with various environmental acts and regulations, aiming to enhance air quality and the overall environmental well-being of the PCMC limits.

Key points in curbing air pollution:

Air Pollution Squads     

  • – 16 teams deployed in 32 wards.
  • – Teams consist of Deputy Engineers, Sanitary Inspectors, Beat inspectors, and MSF Personnel.
  • – Strict actions for non-compliance.

Construction and C&D Waste Measures

  • – Mandatory 35 feet tin/metal sheets for tall structures.
  • – Use of green cloth/jute sheet/tarpaulin for construction sites.
  • – Water sprinkling during work.
  • – Covered transportation for materials.
  • – CCTV cameras and air pollution monitors.

Solid Waste & Firecracker Rules

  • – Zero waste burning.
  • – Report violations via Smart Sarathi app.
  • – Limited firecracker timings.
  • – Resident guidelines for fireworks.

Traffic & Vehicular Emissions

  • – Strict vehicular emission norms.
  • – PUC certificate verification.
  • – Traffic flow improvements.
  • – EV bus fleet enhancements.

Industries & Businesses

  • – Switch to cleaner alternatives.
  • – DG set regulation.
  • – Daily air pollution monitoring.