Delhi: New air quality monitoring station at Okhla plant | Delhi News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: In a positive development, Okhla waste-to-energy plant, which has been a source of much discontent for flouting pollution norms, is now getting an air quality monitoring station that will display real-time readings and violations.
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Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had earlier highlighted several shortcomings in the operations of waste-to-energy plants run by the three municipal corporations during its last inspection a few months ago.
The Okhla plant was asked to install a continuous ambient air quality monitoring system (CAAQMS) after pollution levels around it emerged as a concern, while the Ghazipur plant, which already has a CAAQMS, was asked to ensure it was functioning 24×7 and displayed readings outside on an electronic board.
A South Delhi Municipal Corporation official confirmed that CAAQMS at Okhla plant was under installation and commissioning. “Besides monitoring station, we have started mist spray systems at critical locations and are complying with the norms,” the official said.
CPCB had also asked the plant to look at solutions to utilise 100% fly ash instead of dumping it at landfills. The official said they had a working fly ash brick production plant, “but we are unable to sell these bricks due to non-availability of market. We seek support from PWD and other bodies.”
The pollution control body had also red flagged high cadmium levels in the fly ash at Ghazipur and Narela-Bawana waste-to-energy plants. According to experts, cadmium is highly toxic. At Bawana, the cadmium content in fly ash was found to be 5.12 mg/l against the standard of 1 mg/l and lesser. Similarly, at Ghazipur plant, the cadmium content was.75 mg/l during inspection.
An East Delhi Municipal Corporation official said several repeat tests were carried out and batches of garbage checked, but level of cadmium was not high. “It may have been one odd batch of garbage. We are not dealing with industrial but only domestic household waste, in which chances of cadmium is very low,” the official added.
In terms of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration, readings were observed to be the highest outside the Bawana plant, which were around three times the safe standards. while it was below the prescribed limit at Ghazipur. Despite repeated attempts, no response was received from the Bawana plant authorities.

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