GUWAHATI, Dec 4 - Congress legislator Rekibuddin Ahmed today said that capital city Guwahati was witnessing a disturbing and growing trend of air and water pollution and matters were worsening due to lack of effective intervention by the State government.
Ahmed, in a Zero Hour notice, said that as the city lacked separate provisions for sewage and stormwater outlet, the toxic sewage generated by the city was finding its way into the various water-bodies like rivers, rivulets and wetlands through the stormwater drainage.
“This is a very dangerous happening and unless scientific interventions are made to have separate provisions for sewerage, all our water-bodies will get seriously polluted. Deepor Beel, a Ramsar Site wetland, is already bearing the brunt of such pollution,” he said.
Ahmed added that growing air pollution as corroborated by periodical monitoring of ambient air quality by the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA), was emerging as a serious matter that warranted urgent intervention by the government. He also suggested revamping of the public transportation system and construction of alternative roads around the city to ease vehicular traffic and pollution.
Forest and Environment Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, in his reply, said that while the newspaper report quoted by Ahmed regarding very high level of air pollution was not factually correct, various forms of pollution were indeed emerging as a matter of serious concern.
He said that large-scale deforestation, illegal extraction of sand and stone, etc., were big concerns and that all concerned must put up a concerted effort to check the menace.
Referring to Deepor Beel, he said the channels linking the wetland to the Brahmaputra had injudiciously been closed down much earlier. “It has traditionally been a water-body for wildlife, especially elephants, and we constructed a railway track right through the wetland ecosystem,” he said.
On the city’s air quality, he said that PCBA operates 23 ambient air quality monitoring stations under the National Ambient Air Quality Programme (NAMP) at different locations of Assam as per guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi. Out of 23 stations, six are in Guwahati – Bamunimaidam, Khanapara, Santipur, Gopinath Nagar, Boragaon and Gauhati University. In Guwahati, a Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS) has also been installed at the Head Office building, Bamunimaidam.