The CAG’s `Performance Audit of Air Pollution Control by Government of Gujarat’ report for 2020-2021 was tabled in the state Assembly on Thursday, the last day of the two-day Assembly session.
Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) was not being monitored in some major industrial estates, including Viramgam, Mandal, Waghodia, Bardoli, Chhatral, Kalol, Sanand, and Surendranagar, according to the national auditor.
According to the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, the state must have a comprehensive database of all potential polluting areas.
“As of November 2021, GPCB monitors AAQ at 62 stations in 14 cities only whereas AAQ is not being monitored in remaining cities, as well as in industrial and mining areas,” the CAG noted.
According to the CAG Monitoring stations should be set up in areas not covered by the current system, and the GPCB should discuss the issue with the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation, as the GIDC manages industrial estates.
Citing the GPCB’s inspection reports, the auditor noted that the pollution control board did not regularly monitor noise levels in industrial units during 2014-19.
CAG said ,As per section 17 of the Air Act, GPCB is required to prepare a comprehensive programme for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution
Further, the government “has not prepared any vision document except preparation of Air Action Plan for Ahmedabad and Surat, which were prepared in pursuance of the order of National Green Tribunal (in October 2018),”.
For monitoring AAQ continuously in Critically Polluted Areas (CPAs), the Central Pollution Control Board had in 2016 directed the GPCB to install at least two Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations within a year in each CPA.
Some of these CPAs are Vapi in Valsad district, Ankleshwar in Bharuch district and Vatva-Narol and Naroda-Odhav in Ahmedabad district.
But the GPCB was yet to comply with the direction and some of these critically polluted areas were yet to get pollution monitoring stations, the CAG said.
It also suggested that saw mills and wood-dependent industrial units be brought under the ambit of the Air Act, a policy be framed to encourage the use of fly ash-based bricks, there be strict implementation of PUC norms to control vehicular pollution and a policy should be devised for greening the highways.