Fugitive emissions and road dust major sources of air pollution in Udaipur, says CSE assessment

Fugitive emissions and road dust major sources of air pollution in Udaipur, says CSE assessment

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) conduct workshop to propose a roadmap for improving Udaipur’s air quality

NCRkhabar@New Delhi. Udaipur, a mineral-rich district in Rajasthan, houses a number of mineral- and stone-based industries – many of which are major sources of air pollution. In fact, due to its high air pollution levels, Udaipur has been listed as a ‘non-attainment city’ by the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) launched in 2019 by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

An assessment by New Delhi-based think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has identified fugitive emissions from these industries and road dust as the key triggers for air pollution in the district. CSE has now gone ahead to also offer a roadmap for cleaning up Udaipur’s air.

A workshop titled “Improving Environmental Performance of Industries in Udaipur” was conducted jointly here today by CSE and the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) to lay down this roadmap. The focus of the roadmap is on improving environmental performance of industries and providing better infrastructure in the industrial areas.

The workshop brought together key players, including representatives from the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO), the District Industries Centre (DIC), industries, consultancies and industrial associations.

As per data provided by the RSPCB, there are approximately 1,207 industries in Udaipur, out of which 885 have been identified as ‘air polluting’ industries; 446 are industries that are responsible for fugitive emissions; and 439 are ‘fuel-consuming’ industries.

Of the 446 fugitive emission industries, 366 are mineral-grinding units,while 80 are stone crushers. Says Nivit Yadav, programme director, industrial pollution, CSE: “These sectors, operating in large numbers, generate huge amounts of dust and emissions and need to comply with strict environmental guidelines to reduce their emissions. The dust from these sectors has often been a big concern for the nearby residential areas — therefore, this sector needs priority focus.”

Speaking at the workshop, Sharad Saksena, regional officer, RSPCB, Udaipur, said: “The RSPCB and industry should work together to ensure implementation of guidelines on the ground. Mere installation of air pollution control devices is not enough to curb air pollution….it also demands a strong mindset towards pollution control.”

Yadav mentions that in 2021, CSE conducted a study to assess industrial air pollution in major districts in Rajasthan. “We found that industries in Udaipur Were largely using coal, wood or liquid fuel.The particulate matter pollution load from these fuel-consuming industries was 148 tonne per annum; the sulphur dioxide load was 200 tonne per annum,while the nitrogen oxide load was 162 tonne per annum.The pollution load in Udaipur compared with other non-attainment cities like Jaipur and Alwar was lower.However, considering the growth in number of industries in Udaipur in near future, it is recommended that industries in the city should shift towards cleaner fuel.”

The situation has improved since then, as per the RSPCB. Parth Kumar, programme manager, industrial pollution, CSE says: “Following the RSPCB’s drive on increased use of biomass, the situation has improved; some industries have shifted to using biomass and other clean fuels. In the longer run, all industries should use cleaner fuels with appropriate air pollution control devices.”

Shreya Verma, deputy programme manager with CSE’s industrial pollution unit, adds: “For sustainable growth of industries, it is important that industries take initiatives and adopt pollution control measures at the individual level.”

What CSE and RSPCB recommend

Fugitive emissions: All mineral grinding and stone crusher units should follow and ensure the implementation of guidelines outlined by the RSPCB.The RSPCB should ensure the installation and working of well-maintained pollution control equipment in all industries. Consent to operate should be withheld if an industry is not complying with the guidelines.

Infrastructure in industrial areas:

  • Condition of roads:Condition of roads in industrial areas is unsatisfactory.It should be ensured that all roads and sidewalks are repaired and paved. Industrial areas should have blacktopped metaled roads, including the pavement of road shoulders.It is important to ensure good quality cement concrete roads that can bear heavy vehicle movement for longer periods.Regular cleaning of Roadies also critical.
  • Green areas: It is important to develop and maintain green areas, gardens and parks in industrial areas.Plantations can be done on sidewalks to minimise dust generation.

Use of cleaner fuels:

  • Industries should shift to cleaner fuels (biomass-based),and install proper air pollution control devices.
  • A time-bound plan, based on a natural gas feasibility study,is needed to provide access to clean fuel (PNG) in the city.

Yadav Says: “To achieve the NCAP objective of clean air, industries with fugitive emissions must follow the guidelines outlined by RSPCB for the respective sectors, and their implementation should be ensured by the Board. There is also an urgent need to improve industrial infrastructure like road conditions, as poor infrastructure causes road emissions which eventually contribute to the city’s air pollution.”


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