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Sensors to curb pollution 24x7 soon

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Mar 8, 2016, 5:32 am IST
Updated : Mar 8, 2016, 5:32 am IST

In what the government is pushing as a “revolution” in curbing pollution, electronic sensors will be installed in 80 per cent of polluting industries by March 31, by which the government hopes to moni

In what the government is pushing as a “revolution” in curbing pollution, electronic sensors will be installed in 80 per cent of polluting industries by March 31, by which the government hopes to monitor emissions round the clock.

“In action taken so far”, minister of state for environment Prakash Javadekar said on Monday, “out of 2,824, 141 industries were ordered to close down as legal notices have been served to 400 industries not adhering to the process.

The others have either installed the device or are in the process of doing so, Mr Javadekar added on Monday. Mr Javadekar said the law will be amended to enable use of this online data as evidence in courts against offenders.

“The procedure was that inspectors visit the site and give a report that is produced in court. These electronic reports might not be acceptable as evidence,” Mr Javadekar said, explaining why the change was needed.

The Union minister, saying that a bill would be brought in the ongoing Budget Session of Parliament to facilitate this, added that the mechanism was so meticulous that through this he, as well as senior officials and state pollution control boards, would get an SMS alert when the emission level of any industrial unit surpasses the permissible limit.

“24 by 7 real-time monitoring of pollution from various industries is a major revolution. The earlier method of physical sampling and lab testing was found to be inadequate as it could not capture pollution levels round-the-clock. The industries now are taking steps to install the new equipment to meet environmental norms,” Mr Javadekar said, adding: “In 2015, notices were issued to 3,145 highly polluting industries under 17 categories for installation of 24/7 emission monitoring system, out of which 1,475 have already installed these devices and 805 shall complete the process by the end of this month.” He added: “Altogether 321 industries are currently closed and orders are being issued to ensure they reopen only after installation of these devices. Closure orders have been issued to 141 industries and action is being initiated against the remaining 403.”

This monitoring, the minister said, will cover parameters like PM (particulate matter), SO2 (Sulphur Dioxide), NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide), CO (Carbon Monoxide), Ammonia and effluent parameters like pH, BOD (Bio Chemical Oxygen Demand), COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand), TSS (Total Suspended Solid), ammonical nitrogen etc.

”Data connectivity has been established with 1,101 units of 17 categories with CPCB and SMS alerts are automatically generated whenever standards are exceeded for more than 15 minutes,” the minister said, adding: “On an average, around 1,000 SMSes are being generated daily. In some cases 100-200 messages (showing units exceeding the limits) are coming. We have identified these industries and will take action against them. This step is a big boost for Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan,” Mr Javadekar said.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi