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Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara among the severely polluted areas of GujaratOUS News

Three new towns – Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara – have been added to Gujarat’s list of severely polluted areas (CPAs) while Odhav, Naroda (in Ahmedabad), Bhavnagar and Junagadh have been removed from the list, the comptroller said and Auditor General. of India (CAG) in a report tabled in the Gujarat Assembly on Thursday.

“Based on the Global Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI), the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had declared (January 2010) six major industrial areas in Gujarat – Vapi, Ankleshwar, Vatva , Ahmedabad (Odhav and Naroda), Bhavnagar and Junagadh – as CPAs and imposed a moratorium on the establishment of industries and the expansion of existing industries in these areas,” the report titled “Audit of Performance Control of air pollution by the government of Gujarat”.

“According to the latest CEPI score submitted (July 2019) by the Central Pollution Control Board to the National Green Tribunal, three new cities Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot have been added to the CPA list, while Odhav, Naroda, Bhavnagar and Junagadh have been removed from the list,” he added.

The audit watchdog said Vadodara’s CEPI scores were the highest in the state, followed by Surat. Rajkot has become severely polluted after being a severely polluted area in 2009.

Based on the corrective action plans proposed by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), approved by the CPCB in September 2010 for the reduction of pollution in these CPAs, the ministry lifted the moratorium of Vapi (October 2010), Bhavnagar (February 2011), Junagadh (March 2011) and Ahmedabad (September 2013).

The moratorium was reimposed on Vapi in September 2013 due to poor CEPI scores. The ministry finally lifted the moratorium on Vapi, Ankleshwar and Vatva in November 2016 based on the reassessed CEPI scores.

The report said the GPCB had yet to meet the CPCB’s 2016 guidelines for installing at least two continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations in every CPA.

The CAG also faulted the GPCB for failing to develop a system for periodic review of health impact assessment in severely polluted areas. The audit pointed out that 15 hospitals in the industrial areas of Ahmedabad, Vapi and Ankleshwar reported 80,443 patients suffering from asthma, bronchitis and acute respiratory infections between 2012 and 2017.

“A growing number of patients over this period portray the severity of the impact of air pollution on health,” the report said.

While the Gujarat government claimed that health impact assessment in CPAs was carried out by industry associations, the auditor said: “Such studies were to be carried out by the GPCB through recognized health establishments once every 4 to 5 years…”

The report also pointed out that under the National Air Quality Program launched in January 2019, the MoEF&CC had identified 102 cities as “non-compliant” cities which failed to meet prescribed air pollution standards. .
“Ahmedabad and Surat were among the unreached cities in Gujarat,” CAG said, adding that industries, vehicles, domestic fuel, construction and road dust were significant sources of emissions in these two cities.