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Air pollution complaints to BMC rose 63% in 2016

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The Times of India        13.04.2017  

Air pollution complaints to BMC rose 63% in 2016

Image used for representation.
MUMBAI: A 63% increase in the number of air pollution complaints received by the BMC was observed in 2016 compared to the previous year. In fact, in January and December 2016 the recorded Air Quality Index (AQI) was higher than in previous years. Incidentally, last January a fire broke out in the Deonar dumping ground which went on for almost a week.

A civic white paper released by the NGO Praja stated that in 2015, the BMC received 94 air pollution complaints while in 2016 it went up to 153. On the other hand, complaints registered owing to pollution due to chemical effluents in 2015 stood at 33, while in 2016 it went up to 51.

Milind Mhaske project director at the NGO Praja said, "These figures are from complaints made to BMC on their helpline 1916 and also those registered with them on their website. The figures clearly indicate people today are waking up to the problem of pollution and it's important the authorities take cognizance of it."

Neha Parkhi, programme officer from System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research project said, "Even we have started getting more queries on air pollution."

"Today, the situation is such that in case of a blaze at the dump, parts of the city far from the dump also get enveloped in smoke. The smell of garbage burning definitely does not go unnoticed," said Kala Suresh, who lives off the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road.

Noise pollution exceeds limits in 7 cities: Centre

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The Hindu      11.04.2017 

Noise pollution exceeds limits in 7 cities: Centre

Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai on the list, says Dave

The average level of noise pollution generally exceeds permissible limits in seven Indian cities, which include Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

According to Mr. Dave, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in association with its counterparts in every State, monitors noise pollution in seven metropolitan cities — Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Lucknow and Hyderabad — through a network of 70 noise-monitoring stations under the National Ambient Noise Monitoring Programme (NANMP).

“The data from these monitoring stations indicate that average noise pollution levels generally exceed the permissible limits. This includes noise from vehicle horns,” said Mr. Dave.

Following standards

The noise standards for motor vehicles, air conditioners, refrigerators, gensets and certain types of construction equipment are prescribed in the Schedules of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, the Minister said.

He said that pressure horns (sirens and multi-tone horns) are banned except for police vans, ambulances and fire brigade vehicles under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

Measures taken to reduce noise pollution in metropolitan cities include advisories for noise monitoring on the occasion of Diwali, prohibition of the use of fireworks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., awareness programmes to avoid bursting of firecrackers and issuing directions under relevant sections of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.


BBMP looks to bury the RDF threat

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The Hindu       29.03.2017   

BBMP looks to bury the RDF threat

Plan to sell 20,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel to cement companies fails due to transportation cost

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which is at a loss to dispose of 20,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) accumulated at all the eight compost-based waste processing plants, now wants to bury the entire stock in an abandoned stone quarry in the city and cap it with mud.

The decision comes in the wake of the BBMP’s failure to get cement factories in Kalaburagi to lift the RDF pile and the two recent fires at Chigarenahalli and Kannahalli compost plants, which caused much damage to the plants and the surrounding villagers. RDF, which is the residue of various types of waste that is shredded and removed of all moisture, can be used to fuel incinerators in cement factories and is highly combustible. As the temperature rises, these massive piles of RDF are a huge fire security risk, one that cement factories are unwilling to take. “Stocking RDF at the compost-based waste processing plants is also a risk to infrastructure worth several hundred crores. We have now decided to bury the entire pile underground in a quarry and [cap it with mud],” said Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, BBMP.

By capping the combustible RDF with mud, the threat of a fire will be mitigated. Mr. Khan added that villagers living around the quarry will also not face any odour-related issues. Moreover, the buried RDF cache can be retrieved any day, once the cement factories come around and are ready to lift it. But it is unlikely that the factories will be willing to pay for the transport. With the nearest cement factory at Kalaburagi, nearly 600 km from the city, cement factories are asking for Rs. 2,500 as transportation fee for a tonne of RDF. This would mean a total of around Rs. 5 crore — an amount the BBMP is not ready to shell out. However, Mr. Khan said added that even if the BBMP was prepared to pay the transportation cost, cement factories were facing a slump post-demonetisation and unwilling to take the RDF.

Fires at plants

A massive fire broke out at the MSGP compost-plant in Chigarenahalli near Doddaballapur three days ago, and it took two days to be put out.

The fire was spread over several acres and more than 2,000 tonnes of RDF was burnt down, BBMP officials said.

“Huge piles of RDF at the plant is what is the biggest risk. We have protested several times demanding that it at least not be stocked at the plant, but [our voices] have fallen on deaf ears,”

said B.T. Raghavendra Prasad, a man who lives near the plant.

A fire broke out at the Kannahalli waste processing plant last weekend, even as the plant was being redone after it was almost gutted in a similar fire at the RDF pile last October.

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