Health hazards caused by pollution are well known to all. 24x7 Real Time Monitoring of pollution has been brought in by the Central Government so that pollution can be kept in check despite rapid industrialisation.
Earlier method of physical sampling and lab testing was found to be inadequate as it could not capture pollution levels all 24 hours.
How does 24x7 pollution monitoring work:
24x7 continuous monitoring systems cover emission parameters like PM (Particulate Matter), SO2 (Sulphur Di-oxide), NO2 (Nitrogen Di-oxide), CO (Carbon mono-oxide), Ammonia, etc. and effluent parameters like flow, pH, BOD (Bio-chemical oxygen demand), COD (chemical oxygen demand), TSS (Total suspended solid), Ammonical Nitrogen etc.
Data connectivity has been established with 1,101 units of 17 categories with CPCB and SMS alerts and emails are automatically generated whenever standards are exceeded for more than 15 minutes.
On average, around 1,000 SMSs for exceedances are being generated on daily basis beside emails and these SMSs are being sent to Stake holders (CPCB, SPCB and Industry).
Industries are taking action based on the information received to control emission and effluent and report this action taken on an email id firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits of new method of pollution check:
With on-line monitoring the situation has completely changed and monitoring can be done continuously. The industries now are taking steps to install new equipment to meet environmental norms.
In 2015, notices were issued to 3,145 highly polluting industries under 17 categories for installation of 24x7 continuous effluent or emission monitoring systems, out of which 1,475 have already installed these devices and 805 industries shall complete the process by the end of March, 2016. Thus by March end, 2280 industries will be equipped with 24X7 monitoring systems.
321 industries are currently closed and orders are being issued to ensure that they reopen only after installation of these devices. Closure orders have been issued to 141 industries and action is being initiated against the rest 403 industries.
Use pollution data as legal evidence:
Union Government is trying to bring about necessary changes in law to enable use of on-line data as legal evidence.
Request by industries for relaxation and Government's stand:
Some of the industries like oil refineries and petrochemical have requested time up to June 30, 2016 since in installation of online monitoring systems for parameters like PM and CO requires shutdown which is carried out as per schedule decided by Ministry of Petroleum. Power plants have also requested time up to June 30, 2016 for installation of online monitoring system.
Overall it can be said that substantial progress has been made so far in the direction of online monitoring of industrial pollution. However, industries which have not installed CEMS as yet need to do so immediately and avoid the necessity of closure directions as per the orders of Ministry of Environment.
Moreover, those industries which have not yet established connectivity need to ensure it without any further delay. CPCB is maintaining constant watch on the progress to ensure that no industry required to install these devices is left out.