VAPI: The interim review of work index for comprehensive environment pollution index (CEPI) action plan carried out jointly by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has thrown up disturbing facts about the Vapi industrial cluster.
The CEPI data shows that pollution levels in Vapi, which was marked as one of the most critically polluted industrial cluster in country, have again gone up.
In the interim assessment report carried out jointly by CPCB and GPCB, Vapi has scored the highest in pollution grade out of the 43 industrial clusters in India assessed. The score in interim report is 90.75 out of 100. In the earlier report of CEPI in 2009, Vapi industrial cluster had scored 88.09 out of 100. This means that pollution levels of air, water and land, have both gone up in two years.
The score of air pollution in CEPI-2009 was 74 out of 100 whereas it went up to 74.50 in interim assesment CEPI-11 report. The report also reveals that during sampling, monitoring and assessment work, some of volatile organic carbon (VOC) based pollutants were found beyond permissible limit prescribed by national ambient air control standard -2009. Out of 12 pollutants monitored in air from five different locations, six pollutants were found beyond permissible limit. These included nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter 10 and 2.5, lead, nickel and arsenic.
According to guidelines for high polluted areas decided by the ministry for environment and forests, the score of more than 60 in CEPI shows a critical level of pollution
The meeting was held last month in the in presence of senior GPCB officials, delegates from Vapi industrial associations and Vapi Waste and Effluents Management Co. Ltd. along with other prominent stakeholders from industry. The meeting widely discussed the issue of rising scores in air and water pollution, which were assessed beyond prescribed permissible limits. The first quarter report of volatile organic carbon monitored according to the new ambient air monitoring standard was worrisome. The value of highly hazardous pollutants was high, said an officer who was present in meeting.
GPCB sources said after the moratorium imposed by MOEF on Vapi was lifted on condition of strict implementation of long-term pollution control action plan. The limit of the two-year action plan will end in September.
On other side, the score of land and soil pollution have reduced as compared to CEPI-2009.
"This is attributed to the successful efforts made against illegal dumping of solid waste," said Ganesh Patel, regional officer, GPCB, Vapi. Patel admitted that the air pollution is high, mainly due to unavailability of proper devices in region.
The action plan requires Vapi Industries Association and Vapi Waste and Effluent Treatment Co. who run common effluent treatment plant and solid waste managment site to install continuous ambient air monitoring station (CAAMS) to keep a tab on air quality and get data of notified pollutants real time.