Overall air quality in Meghalaya 'good': officials

The overall air quality in Meghalaya is "good" except for those areas in industrial estates and where vehicular movement is at its peak, the

PTI| Updated: Dec 14, 2015, 19:02 PM IST

Shillong: The overall air quality in Meghalaya is "good" except for those areas in industrial estates and where vehicular movement is at its peak, the
Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board said Monday.

The board which is monitoring the air quality in eight stations under the national air monitoring programme of the Government of India, said the overall air quality in the
state is still rated as "good". "We found that the overall air quality is under the category 'good', the calculations of which is done as per
standard procedures prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board," board's senior scientist Dr Battinola Nongbri told PTI.

Except for the two stations in the industrial area in Byrnihat (along the inter-state border) and Umiam whose pollution is rated as 'satisfactory' under the CPCB
guidelines, she said all stations are rated as 'good' where the air quality index value is under 50.

Till last year when the board had its station in a commercial hub in Khyndailad area of the city, the particulate matter level (dust and other solid emissions) of only that
station used to exceed the prescribed standards, the official said.

Asked about the reasons, Dr Nongbri said vehicular exhaust, re-suspension of traffic dust and construction activities are the major factors contributing to the pollution
level at Khyndailad area.

The board's secretary M Nengnong also said the main polluting agents as far as Meghalaya is concerned are only those emitted by vehicles as there are still very less
industries in the state.

The only drawback in controlling pollution from vehicles is the absence of pollution testing stations set up for diesel-powered heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses and
as such they are running without any pollution check, an official of the state transport department said. 

Though the board is running a small testing station at its office here at Lumpyngngad, it is not possible for the board to issue environment green/red certificates to all vehicles
plying in the state, Nengnong said.