GUWAHATI, Aug 16 - The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is concerned at the rising air pollution in eight towns and cities of the region, including five in Assam and has called for a coordinated approach from various stakeholders to control it.
Since 2011, at least 94 Indian cities have not met national air quality standards. Many of these cities have been on the list from the 1990s. Among them are Guwahati, Nagaon, Nalbari, Silchar and Sivasagar, besides Byrnihat in Meghalaya and Kohima and Dimapur in Nagaland. These places have consistently recorded higher than acceptable particulate matter (PM10) levels and the CPCB has listed them as polluted cities in which the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards are violated.
Amid the concerns, the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) will start monitoring levels of other toxic substances � PM2.5 (smaller particulate matter), benzene, ammonia and carbon monoxide � from this year. So far, the PCBA has been monitoring only PM10, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
�One station in Guwahati has already started testing the parameters of these additional toxic substances. We are in the process of procuring the instruments for other monitoring stations in the State,� senior environmental scientist at the PCBA, Manoj Saikia told The Assam Tribune.
He said the PCBA has also written to the Central government proposing to increase the number of monitoring stations in the State from 23 to over 30.