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Yuva Sena Leader Aaditya Thackeray Writes To Centre About Rising Air Pollution In Mumbai

Mumbai has refineries and fertiliser plants on its eastern coast, and the round-the-clock industrial activity there is having a direct impact on the air quality in the city, Yuva Sena Leader Aaditya Thackeray said

Aaditya Thackeray Writes To Centre About Rising Air Pollution In Mumbai
In the past 6 months, the air quality in Mumbai has consistently been rated as “Poor” to “Very Poor” on the AQI (air quality index): Yuva Sena Leader Aaditya Thackeray

Mumbai: Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday (March 18) wrote to the Centre raising the issue of air pollution in Mumbai, citing widespread construction activities and lack of effective supervision to control them. In a letter to Bhupender Yadav, Union minister for environment, forest and climate change, Mr. Thackeray also said Maharashtra does not have an independent environment minister to look into the issue.

In the past 6 months, the air quality in Mumbai has consistently been rated as “Poor” to “Very Poor” on the AQI (air quality index). Other cities in Maharashtra are also posting concerning air quality numbers, he said.

The entire city is undergoing construction, causing a large amount of dust and debris, much of which is left unattended and unchecked. Measures are needed to help the Urban Development Department and local bodies understand the consolidated impact construction has on the city’s environment, he said.

Construction activity in Mumbai is widespread and lacks effective supervision, the former state environment minister said.

Also Read: 39 Of World’s 50 Most Polluted Cities Are In India: World Air Quality Report

As per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), Mumbai’s air quality index stood at a “moderate” 159 on Saturday. Flagging rising air pollution in Mumbai, the city civic body recently set up a panel to suggest dust control measures.

The city has refineries and fertiliser plants on its eastern coast, and the round-the-clock industrial activity there is having a direct impact on the air quality in the city, Mr. Thackeray said.

Residents in the vicinity of places like Mahul or Wadala are feeling the impact of the poor air quality and foul smell, he added.

Mr. Thackeray said the Centre should evaluate and relocate these plants away from the city.

Also Read: Air Pollution: How Effective Has National Clean Air Programme Been In Improving Air Quality?

In 2022, Mumbai launched its Climate Action Plan, which was heralded by the climate policy community and covered by acclaimed journals worldwide.

He also asked to direct the relevant stakeholders in the city’s civic administration to establish a climate cell as was suggested by the policy plan.

With G20 events being held in the city, its global reputation is at stake, he said. Most importantly, the health of the citizens should take precedence over political differences, Mr. Thackeray said.

He said climate change has had a serious impact on the city’s weather patterns, changing the speed and direction of winds, and causing polluted air to remain within the city instead of flowing towards the coast.

He also asked that authorities be directed to install mobile sensors across the city, saying the existing sensors do not cover its entire area.

This would provide more insights for addressing the air quality problem and help reconcile data authenticity of AQI currently measured, he said.

Mr. Thackeray also raised the issue of Aarey Metro car shed, a bone of contention between the then Minister Uddhav Thackeray government and the current CM Eknath Shinde-led government.

The current administration in Maharashtra is focused on monetising the city’s green spaces. The healthy Aarey forest has been compromised against the city’s will and with vengeance, he alleged.

Also Read: As Mumbai Surpasses Delhi In Air Pollution Levels, Can India Look At Surat’s Emission Trading Scheme To Mitigate The Problem? 

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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