#NEERI, #airpollution, #IITBombay, #Ganga

The city-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (neeri) along withIIT-Bombay(Powai) will be conducting a year-long study on airpollutionof 10 major cities of Maharashtra with the aim of developing mitigation measures.

The study is being funded and facilitated by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and will be conducted in Nagpur, Amravati, Aurangabad, Chandrapur, Pune, Mumbai, Nashik, Thane, Kolhapur and Solapur.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, new NeeridirectorRakesh Kumar, who took charge on Monday, said Neeri and IIT-Powai have already started working on the project and would be submitting preliminary findings in six months. The two agencies would simultaneously be preparing the emissions inventory (agents that are causing pollution), monitoring the pollution and suggesting solutions for curbing pollution at the source sector-wise like industry, vehicles, garbage and biomass burning etc.

Kumar also said Neeri would make a conscious effort of coming out its comfort zone of just researching. It would try to involve a partner in most of its projects so that technologies emerging out of each project got commercialized and not just be a passive technology developer. “From now on, Neeri would try to market its technologies proactively,” he said.

AboutGangarejuvenation plan, Kumar said for the first time a single agency was monitoring the entire stretch of the river from Gomukh to Gangasagar. This would generate robust data that could be utilized to suggest sustainable corrective measures to clean the river and maintain it. “The past plans didn’t give enough importance to the expanding population as well as technology limitations. STPs were set up. But in major polluting states they couldn’t be run without round the clock electricity. Hence this time, Neeri would be incorporating these factors while preparing mitigation technologies. Also like any other massive project implementation, this too had its limitations of logistics and management,” he said. The hotspots of pollution still remain the stretches of Ganga near Allahabad, Varanasi, Kanpur, Patna etc

Kumar also suggested Neeri would concentrate on less energy intensive technologies like solar based or gravity based treatment plants. To curb vehicular pollution, Neeri would be suggesting the use of certain specific plants at major traffic junctions on road dividers as these can absorb pollutants. On the odd-even formula being implemented in Delhi, Kumar said that it was just one of the 10 major solutions for minimizing vehicular pollution. It wouldn’t work in cities like Mumbai.