Urges the Government to draft a Clean Air Action Plan
CEED congratulated the Honourable Finance Minister of Bihar, Shri Sushil Kumar Modi for making the announcement to increase the number of continuous air quality monitoring stations in Patna. The announcement was made during the Bihar budget 2018-2019 in the Legislative Assembly on 27th February 2018. The increased air quality monitoring will help get a better estimate of the level of pollution and strengthen Patna’s fight against air pollution. CEED also welcomed the Honourable minister’s decision to establish regional offices in Gaya and Bhagalpur. By giving priority to the issue of air pollution in the budget, the state government has made a major progress and has expressed its willingness to improve the state’s health and welfare.
Monitoring of ambient air quality helps in assessing the level of pollution in relation to the ambient air quality standards. It is also important to estimate the population’s exposure to air pollution and the subsequent health impacts. The decision of increasing the number of continuous air quality monitoring stations in Patna has an added advantage to the air quality management. A manual monitoring station has a limited scope because of the immense time lag in reporting the data and also it is inefficient in identifying the episodic pollution events.
While appreciating the decision taken by the government, Ms. Ankita Jyoti, Senior Program Officer, Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) said, “For a detailed representation of the pollution level in our city, robust air monitoring was needed and CEED had persistently been demanding the same. It is a moment of great satisfaction for us and we totally appreciate the state government’s move. The announcement has provided a major push to the air pollution struggle and it will benefit in the framing of policies and increasing public awareness on the issue of air pollution. We also request the government to strengthen the process of monitoring in cities like Gaya, Muzaffarpur, and Bhagalpur and also to come up with a comprehensive Clean Air Action Plan with a well-defined pollution reduction target in short, mid and long-term periods,” she added.