Patna, September 9, 2021: The Bihar State Pollution Control Board launched the Clean Air Dashboard to identify and tackle the dispersed sources of air pollution in the city. The dashboard aggregates information on pollution arising from the sources like garbage burning, private and public construction and demolition activity, etc. — collected from ground surveys — and distributes this data then to relevant departments and officials for action. It has been developed by The Air Pollution Action Group (A-PAG) and the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.
The single, coordinated dashboard empowers the concerned officials to easily track and respond to air pollution issues, leading to quicker and proactive interventions on the ground, while also promoting cleaner air in the city.
The web-based dashboard is currently being used by over 170 officers of the Patna Municipal Corporation, Road Construction Department, Building Construction Department, as well as the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department, Government of Bihar.
Over 1,900 pertinent issues have already been identified and directed towards the relevant personnel from these departments for fast tracking, resolving and action. The dashboard plays a key role in this process by providing an easy-to-access summary of the problem and making it simple to chart out different potential solutions.
The overriding aim of this project is to ensure that Bihar meets the air pollution mitigation targets laid out under the National Clean Air Program of the Government of India.
Launched on the occasion of the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies 2021, this dashboard holds a special relevance for current and future generations.
Air pollution in India has deteriorated significantly over the last decade. Today, it is one of the greatest risk factors contributing to India’s disease burden. Not only does it affect our health, but also affects ecosystems and climate and thus the economic issues related thereto. The need to act is urgent. India’s flagship program for better air quality, The National Clean Air Program (NCAP), proposes the implementation of city-specific air quality management plans for 132 non-attainment cities.
Cities like Patna listed under the NCAP have submitted their clean air action plans. The air quality index (AQI) in Patna remains in the range between poor to moderate, mainly due to Particulate Matter (PM).
Dipak Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of Bihar said “Innovative ideas like the dashboard for monitoring the dispersed sources of air pollution mitigation is a good way forward. We are hoping to have more creative and effective ways to tackle air pollution for better access of clean air to citizens of Bihar.”
Dr. Ashok Kumar Ghosh Chairman, Bihar State Pollution Control Board, Patna stated “The dashboard is proving to be an effective tool to combat air pollution. Through the dashboard, we are hoping to monitor the air pollution due to dispersed sources regularly.”
“Tracking information and coordinating action is key to be able to tackle air pollution, which is one of the biggest global challenges of our times,” says Priya Shankar, India Director, Climate and Environment Program, Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The pilot of this innovative new dashboard in Patna can also have relevance for other cities on how to manage and improve air quality.”
“By improving access to real-time air quality problems, this unique collaboration between Patna officials, the BSPCB and civil society presents an enormous opportunity to improve air quality in the city” says Dr Anshu Bharadwaj, CEO, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.
“The dashboard is a crucial first step in improving the air quality in Patna”, says Vijay Chadda, CEO of Air Pollution Action Group. “It is our privilege to work with The Bihar State Pollution Control Board in ensuring that cleaner air in the city of Patna is available to its citizens.”
This dashboard will soon be extended to Muzaffarpur and Gaya, the two other non-attainment cities in Bihar under the NCAP.
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