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The air quality of Dimapur, the commercial hub of Nagaland, is getting worse with time. This was revealed during a ‘National Clean Air’ programme organized on April 10 under the theme “awareness and capacity building” at Don Bosco School in Dimapur.

Scientist at Nagaland Pollution Control Board, Yanathhung Kithan said that the annual average concentration of the Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) of Dimapur is not that encouraging. He said that the government has set 60 as the annual average concentration of RSPM, where below 60 shows the air quality is good. But as for Dimapur, the consecutive years from 2019-2022 have shown 79, 78, 99, and 97 which is increasing.

While RSPM for Kohima from 2019-2022 has shown 91, 89, 77, and 72 which shows an improvement. The air quality of Kohima and Dimapur has been placed under non-attainment cities with respect to particulate matter (PM10), which shows a serious concern, he added.

Kithan said this as he presented a powerpoint in the programme where he highlighted various sources of air pollution and its effects on people. He mentioned that under the National Air Monitoring programme, Nagaland has 11 manual monitoring stations and 1 CAAQMS station – 7 manual stations at Dimapur in Bank Colony, NPCB Office, Viola Colony, Tenyiphe-II Chumoukedima, Burma camp, Dhobinala, Kuda-C, Nagarjan, and Kohima has 4 manual monitoring stations opposite NST office, PWD Junction, High School Junction, Upper Midland. While as of Waste Management Scenario in Nagaland, there is only one scientific treatment plant at Kohima having 50 TPD capacity funded under the ADB-assisted NE region Urban Development Programme funded through the MoHUA.

Kithan then said that under National Green Tribunal Order it is directed to impose a penalty to violators, concessioner, ULB, and any person or body responsible for such burning shall be liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs 5000, in case of simple burning, while Rs 25,000 in case of bulk burning. He informed that the Central government launched National Clean Air Programme (NACP) as a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy to achieve the targets and it has aimed at a 40% reduction in particulate matter by 2026.

He also highlighted the health impacts of air pollution which has caused asthma, cardiovascular, lung cancer and diabetes. The overall pollution-related deaths were also the highest in India which includes water, lead, and occupation-related pollution.

Yanthan then urged all the individuals, local bodies, gram panchayat, and village councils to ensure that the open burning of plastic waste does not take place. Air Pollution is affecting people throughout their lifetime and it’s the sole responsibility of not only one department but the whole community and individual to come together to improve the quality of our environment, he added.

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