Mumbai unveils technological measures to combat air pollution, no firecracker bantext_fields
Mumbai is implementing several technological measures to combat air pollution, focusing on improving air quality throughout the city.
Among the initiatives are the installation of vehicle-mounted air filters on 350 Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses, the placement of virtual chimneys at traffic congestion hotspots, special streetlights aimed at air purification, and the installation of air purification systems in selected gardens. Furthermore, the city civic body has purchased 30 vehicles equipped with sprinklers known as fog cannons.
But, there is no ban on firecrackers which is a major source of air pollution.
Mumbai district guardian minister, Deepak Kesarkar, explained that these initiatives are part of the city's strategy to address air pollution. While there is no ban on bursting firecrackers, Kesarkar encouraged citizens to use their discretion and minimise the use of firecrackers during festivals.
A range of technologies from different companies is being trialled in Mumbai under the guidance of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. The most effective technologies for pollution reduction will be prioritised. Currently, six technologies, including vehicle-mounted air filters, are being tested.
The Maharashtra Environment Department is overseeing the implementation and effectiveness of these technologies, in coordination with the Mumbai civic chief.
Kesarkar revealed that vehicle-mounted air filters will be installed on 350 BEST buses in phases to remove impurities from dust and other particles. Initially, these air filters will be fitted on 150 buses, with 200 more to follow. There's also a proposal to bring new electric buses equipped with vehicle-mounted filters to expedite the installation of air filtration devices.
Mumbai is also focusing on virtual chimneys installed at ten high-traffic congestion locations, which will perform significant air filtration. Additionally, streetlights named "Vayu" will be set up at 50 sites with the objective of air purification.
The city will conduct a trial of air purification systems in six gardens, including the Diamond Garden, Chembur, Shivaji Park, Rani Baug in Byculla, SK Patil Garden in Marine Lines, and Bhakti Park Garden in Wadala.
Regarding the use of firecrackers, Kesarkar explained that while there is no 100% ban on bursting firecrackers, the state government encourages people to use fewer of them, emphasising that it can lead to greater happiness. He also revealed that the civic body has set a 15-day deadline for taking preventive action against pollution and a 30-day timeframe for machinery procurement, with the expectation that air quality will improve during this period.