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Bihar to Launch Action Plan for Tackling Rising Air Pollution

Expressing concern over the rising level of air pollution in the state, the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) said on Tuesday that it will soon publish an action plan to tackle the menace.

Talking to reporters, BSPCB chairman Ashok Kumar Ghosh said consistent efforts are needed for a few years to see visible improvement in the air quality of the state.

“We are coordinating with different departments, including road and building construction, agriculture, environment and urban development, for reducing air pollution levels in the state. The rising levels of air pollution in several cities of the state are a matter of serious concern,” he said.

“We need to put in consistent efforts for a couple of years to see visible improvement in air quality. The BSPCB will soon come out with its own action plan for all stakeholders to curb air pollution in the state,” he added.

The new action plan will also include non-attainment cities such as Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya, Ghosh said.

Cities are declared non-attainment if over a five-year period they consistently do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for PM 10 (particulate matter that is 10 microns or less in diameter) or NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide).

“Covering of construction materials during transportation, mandatory green shield for building construction, development of green belts, promotion of e-vehicles and use of environment-friendly fuel, stringent checking of vehicle emission and use of smog guns are some of the steps that have been included in the action plan,” said Ghosh.

He said that air pollution was rising to unhealthy levels in various cities of north Bihar — Buxar, Katihar, Siwan, Darbhanga and Bettiah.

“I know that at least 10 towns in the state were among 13 most polluted cities in the country on November 24 as per the data compiled Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB),” he said.

According to the CPCB data, AQI of Motihari, Purnia and Bettiah rose to 448, 417 and 406, respectively, on that day.

“The Indo-Gangetic Plain faces massive aerosol loading. Aerosol loading over Bihar is also one of the reasons for air pollution in several cities. All possible measures are being taken to ensure that people get clean air,” said S Chandrasekar, the member secretary of BSPCB.

Aerosol loading is suspensions of solid and liquid particles in the air — dust, smoke and haze, measured by the mass concentration of aerosol particles.

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