New Delhi: Real-time, 24×7 monitoring of pollution from industries is a major reform brought in by the NDA government. The previous method of physical sampling and laboratory testing was found to be inadequate as it could not capture pollution levels throughout the day. With on-line monitoring, the situation has completely changed and monitoring can be done continuously.
The industries are now taking steps to install new equipment to meet environmental norms. “We shall also bring about necessary changes in law to enable use of on-line data as legal evidence,” Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has said.
In 2015, notices were issued to 3,145 highly polluting industries under 17 categories for installation of 24×7 continuous emission monitoring systems, out of which 1,475 have already installed these devices, and 805 industries shall complete the process by the end of this March. Till then, 2,280 industries will have been equipped with 24×7 monitoring systems.
Industries currently closed for violation of regulations on pollution number 321. 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 remaining 403 industries.
Monitoring systems of the 24×7 type cover emission parameters like PM (Particulate Matter), SO2 (sulphur dioxide), NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), CO (carbon monoxide), ammonia, etc and effluent parameters like flow, pH, BOD (biochemical oxygen demand), COD (chemical oxygen demand), TSS (total suspended solid), NH3-N (ammoniacal nitrogen) etc.
Data connectivity has been established with 1,101 units of 17 categories with CPCB. SMS alerts and emails are automatically generated whenever standards are exceeded for more than 15 minutes. On an average, around 1,000 SMSs for exceeding permissible limits of pollutants are being generated on a daily basis besides emails, and these SMSs are being sent to the stakeholders (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 address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the industries like oil refineries and petrochemicals have requested time up to 30 June as the installation of online monitoring systems for parameters like PM and CO requires shutdown, which is carried out as per schedule decided by the Ministry of Petroleum. Power plants have also requested time up to this date for installation of online monitoring system.
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. Moreover, industries that have not yet established connectivity need to ensure it without any further delay.
The CPCB is maintaining a constant watch on the progress to ensure that no industry that is required to install these devices is left out.