Dimapur, April 10: As part of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), an “Awareness and Capacity Building” event was held by District Administration on Monday here at the Conference Hall of Don Bosco Hr. Sec. School, Dimapur with Imlijungla Lemtur, EAC of Dimapur as the keynote speaker of the event and Yanathhung Yanthan, Scientist ‘B’ of the Nagaland Pollution Control Board as the presenter.
Yanthan’s presentation, presented in a hall full of students, teachers, and faculty members, highlighted that under the National Air Monitoring Programme (NAMP), Nagaland has 11 manual monitoring stations and one Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS). The monitoring stations are located across Dimapur (Bank Colony, NPCB Office, Viola Colony, Tenyiphe II- Chumukedima, Burma Camp, Dhobinala Kuda-C, Nagarjan) and Kohima (Opposite NST Office, PWD Junction, High School Junction, Upper Midland). The primary sources of air pollution in the region include dust raised from vehicular movement on dusty roads, vehicular emissions, burning of waste, and emissions from small scale industries.
According to Yanthan, Nagaland also suffers from the fact that there is no classification of areas for commercial and residential purposes.
He said that both Kohima and Dimapur have been classified as “non-attainment cities” and that over the years annual average concentration of RSPM for Dimapur city have been increasing from 79 in 2019 to 97 in 2022. Kohima, on the other hand, has been showing an improved quality of air during the same time, registering a score of 91 in 2019, 89 in 2020, 77 in 2021, and 72 in 2022. However, both the cities remain high above the permissible limit.
It may be mentioned that the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) aims to reduce particulate matter by 40% by 2026.
Yanthan also discussed the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, and the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, which outline the duties and responsibilities of local authorities, village Panchayats, census towns, and urban agglomerations. The rules prohibit littering, open burning of waste, and mandate the segregation of waste at the source. Violators are liable to pay environmental compensation ranging from Rs. 5,000 for simple burning to Rs. 25,000 for bulk waste burning.
The health impacts of air pollution were also addressed, with statistics showing that 43% of all lung disease and lung cancer deaths are attributable to air pollution. In 2019, air pollution caused 1.7 million deaths in India, the highest in the world. On the waste management scenario in Nagaland, he said that while Kohima has one scientific treatment plant, the rest of the ULBs have dumping sites without proper treatment.
Earlier, delivering the keynote address, Lemtur had said that everyone deserves clean air and keeping it clean is going to be a shared responsibility of all, and while people here think about Delhi and Mumbai when the issue of clean air is discussed, Dimapur and Kohima too don’t meet the standards set for clean air. She said that this is a wakeup call for all and the shared responsibility can be expressed by doing as little as planting a tree and asking their parents to not burn the waste.
(Page News Service)