The air quality monitoring station which was set up by Dombivli MPCB six months back, could not be started due to no electricity connection. On April 4, energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule asked the MSEB to provide power connection to the center immediately.
Dombivli ranks second in the state for being the most polluted city. With MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) present in the area, the city is highly polluted. There are many chemical companies in the area which emit hazardous gases. In fact, a few years back, there was also the infamous green rain in the area.
To monitor the high level of pollution, a continuous air quality monitoring station was set up near Pimpleshwar mandir, Dombivli east. And equipments worth Rs1.5 crores were brought in to monitor and test air quality in this highly polluted area.
However, for some reason the station could not be started and the equipments which were brought in with much fanfare were lying unused. However, on April 4, on a question raised by MLC (member of legislative council) Jagannath Shinde, Bawankule ordered MSEB to provide electricity connection immediately to the center.
When we contacted MPCB official Jitendra Sangewar, he said that the matter has been sorted out. "Till now, there was no electricity so we could not start the station. But now, the issue has been sorted and the station will start in next one or two months as it is undergoing trial," he said.
After it starts, the station will be able to monitor air quality within 1 to 1.5km of its radius. It will be of great help as after monitoring the air quality, adequate remedial measures will be suggested to the companies to bring down the level of pollution. "Hope they really make good use of this station to control pollution. Or else it would be another case of money wastage," says Shekhar Shinde, a resident of MIDC.