The MPCB or Maharashtra Pollution Control Board recently pitched a clean air action plan for Mumbai. However, experts believe that this may not be enough to curb pollution in the city. Particularly, standards like Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates need a significant revamp as per experts in the field.

Ronak Sutaria, the founder of UrbanSciences, an agency that monitors air quality, recently spoke at a public consultation program to bolster the city’s clean air action plan, saying “Vehicles are about a 30% contributor to Mumbai’s pollution. The PUC certificates are measuring hydrocarbons and CO but the key vehicular pollutants are actually NOx and PM 1 and below. When you want to do field monitoring of pollution, these are the pollutants you need to track.”

The PUC certificates are issued by the RTO, so the suggestion here is that the RTO (Regional Transport Office) needs to upgrade its infrastructure in order to be better equipped to track harmful nanoparticles that can cause serious harm to human life.

Anumita Roy Choudhury, Executive Director, Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, said: “The purpose of the PUC was to check if people maintain their vehicles properly so they don’t emit pollutants more than they are designed to and that could be done through simple tests. It is, however, become archaic, especially for diesel vehicles because you can no longer see the dense black smoke.” Choudhury added that it will require a “completely different technology regime” to track the harmful pollutants in Mumbai’s atmosphere today.

Meanwhile, the founder of Conservation Action Trust (CAT), Debi Goenka said: “Ideas and thoughts were (sic) put forward by the participants would be incorporated into our document and submitted to the state and central pollution control boards.”

It is hoped that the authorities take the necessary steps in order to bring pollution tracking on par with the current global standards. As the experts pointed out, this can only be done with a significant change in technology.

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