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Why is pollution so bad in Meghalaya’s Byrnihat?

Byrnihat meghalaya pollution reason

According to CPCB, Byrnihat has been facing severe pollution for the last few days. Last week, the air quality index went to and fro from ‘very poor’ to ‘severe’ with PM2.5 levels ranging from 365-414. Central Pollution Control Board, CPCB, warns of respiratory illness on prolonged exposure, affecting healthy people and seriously impacting those with existing diseases associated with ‘very poor’ and ‘severe’ air quality index.

Read more: AQI Bulletin (Archive)

Industrial units in the area

Byrnihat is located in the Umling subdivision of the Ribhoi district in Meghalaya. According to the Meghalaya State  Pollution Control Board, high concentrations of Particulate Matter levels may be attributed to the build-up of pollutants owing to emissions from industries located in the industrial area. The pollution is also associated with emissions from vehicles, dust generated due to the movement of vehicles, natural dust, and constructional activities, the State Pollution Control Board further states. 

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Read more: Effects of Solid Wastes and Industrial Effluents on Groundwater Quality in Byrnihat Industrial Belt, Meghalaya

Extended EPIP Byrni Haat
Extended EPIP Byrni Haat | Courtesy: Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation Limited

The town is also very close to Guwahati, Assam. And, according to a study, the Ri-Bhoi district has one industrial estate and one Export Promotion Industrial Park. In the Byrnihat area, primarily small-scale industries are present in clusters such as ferry alloys, tire and tube, cement, and polythene items to name some. The close proximity to Guwahati and the presence of these industries may explain the high level of Particulate Matter in the air.

Response by the SPCP

The Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board has come up with necessary preventive and control measures. The aim is to reduce the emission of pollutants at the source. A graded Response Action Plant based on the air quality trend has also been formulated for the town of Byrnihat.

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Read more: ACTION PLAN FOR CONTROL OF AIR POLLUTION IN NON-ATTAINMENT TOWNS Name of City/Town: Byrnihat including EPIP Industrial Area District: Ri-Bhoi, Meghalaya Introduction

The industrial units will be required to develop a technique that would allow the government to monitor the emission rate in real time. Additionally, the Transport Department will discuss the possibility of bringing e-rickshaw into the region, the Shillong Times reports.

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