CAST to test northeast India’s air pollution situation
Imphal, Dec 17: In a move to provide a comprehensive analysis to understand air quality management in a city, the Clean Air Asia (an international nongovernmental organization which works for better air quality and more liveable cities in Asia since 2001) is applying the Clean Air Scorecard Tool (CAST) on three states capitals of the north eastern region and 27 other Indian cities.
According to CAA’s India Director Prarthana Borah, the three-year long initiative will be taken up as part of applying the CAST under clean air management programs across 30 Indian cities including these three northeast state capitals: Agartala, Guwahati and Imphal.
The cities that the CAA has scheduled to explore for the application of the CAST are Aurangabad, Mumbai,Nagpur, Nashik, Varanasi, Pune, Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Jallandhar, Dehradun, Varanasi,Allahabad, Kanpur, Jaipur, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bhubhaneshwar, Cuttack,Patna, Noida, Gwalior, Bhopal, Raipur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Ghaziabad.
“We’re considering small town too because they’ve different issues and the CAST is a comprehensive tool that provides an understanding on the air quality management, identifies gaps in air quality management strategies through objective research and provides core solutions so the people of the city breathe cleaner, better air,” Prarthana said.
“Since its development in 2010, the CAST has been applied in 19 Asian cities from nine countries.”
Besides the melting of ice in Himalayas, issues of black carbon and new industrial cities etc will also be explored in consultation with the local bodies of the northeast states, she added.
Prarthana was speaking to this reporter on the sidelines of a 2-day media sensitization on air pollution at the World Wide Fund for Nature premises in New Delhi during December 15-16.
She spoke about how the Chinese authorities were combating air pollution.
Stating that India has around 342 air pollution monitoring stations, including around ten real-time monitoring ones, she said, “In China, air pollution data are available in open, real time monitoring data available hourly besides others facilities. The practices were also shared among cities (China) with their targets in different sectors along with capacity building programmes of the stakeholders.” She also desired linkage between air pollution and other health complications etc when following that approach.
On the other hand, expressing the need to develop more mobile apps to monitor air quality in smaller towns too besides the bigger cities, the communication officer of the CAA, India office, Bani Bains said, “Sometimes we also need solution oriented approach. So we are planning to come out with new Apps to give real time datas etc.”