CSE’s new assessment identifies main causes of air pollution in Alwar

  • Fugitive emissions from industries and industrial waste dumping and burning are the key sources 
  • Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) conduct workshop to propose a roadmap
    for improving Alwar’s air quality

For workshop proceedings, Click here 

Alwar, February 28, 2024: Alwar, a mineral-rich district, houses a number of mineral- and stone-based industries, many of which cause air pollution. In fact, due to its high air pollution levels, Alwar has been listed as a ‘non-attainment city’ by the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) launched in 2019 by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.  

An assessment by New Delhi-based think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has identified fugitive emissions from these industries, industrial waste dumping and burning as the key triggers for air pollution in the district. CSE has now gone ahead to also offer a roadmap for cleaning up Alwar’s air.  

As part of the Delhi-NCR region, Alwar falls within the purview of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) established under the CAQM National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Act, 2021, to address air pollution concerns on a national level. 

A workshop titled “Improving Environmental Performance of Industries in Alwar” was conducted jointly here today by CSE and the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) to lay down the roadmap. The focus of the roadmap is on improving environmental performance of industries and providing better infrastructure in the industrial areas.  

The workshop brought together key players, including representatives from the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB), Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO), the District Industries Centre (DIC), industries, consultancies and industrial associations.  

As per the data provided by the RSPCB, there are approximately 1,200 air polluting industries in Alwar, out of which 1,050 are responsible for fugitive emissions, and 142 are fuel-consuming industries (stack-based). Of the industries responsible for fugitive emissions, 300 are mineral-grinding units, while 45 are stone crushers. 

Says Nivit Yadav, Programme Director, Industrial Pollution, CSE: “These sectors, operating in large numbers, generate huge amounts of dust and emissions and need to comply with strict environmental guidelines to reduce their emissions. The dust emanating from these sectors has consistently played a significant role in the escalating air pollution levels in the city, and prompting concerns among nearby residential areas—thus, requiring prioritized attention." 

The meeting was also addressed by Dipendra Jharwal, regional officer of RSPCB, who highlighted the importance of regulatory compliance and enforcement mechanisms in tackling air pollution effectively. 

Shreya Verma, deputy programme manager with CSE’s industrial pollution unit, adds: “Apart from fugitive emissions from industries, the absence of industrial waste management infrastructure leads to open dumping and burning of industrial waste within industrial areas and worsen the air pollution in Alwar. Establishing adequate infrastructure for industrial waste management is imperative at this juncture.” 

CSE and RSPCB jointly recommend the following measures: 

Fugitive emissions: All mineral grinding and stone crusher units should follow and ensure the implementation of guidelines outlined by the RSPCB. The RSPCB should ensure the installation and working of well-maintained pollution control equipment in all industries. Consent to operate should be withheld if an industry is not complying with the guidelines.  

Infrastructure in industrial areas:

  • Develop infrastructure for industrial waste management: Developing industrial waste management infrastructure is essential in mitigating issues related to waste dumping and burning. This infrastructure should encompass various components, including door-to-door waste collection services, the establishment of waste storage sites, and the facilitation of direct transfer of recyclable or reusable industrial waste to registered vendors or industries for its utilization in different applications. A study should be conducted in Matsya and Neemrana industrial areas to understand the type and quantity of waste generated. This study will play a pivotal role in enhancing waste circularity and promoting sustainable waste management practices.
  • Conditions of roads: Condition of roads in some industrial areas is unsatisfactory. It should be ensured that all roads and sidewalks are repaired and paved. Industrial areas should have blacktopped metaled roads, including the pavement of road shoulders. It is important to ensure good quality cement concrete roads that can bear heavy vehicle movement for longer periods. Regular cleaning of roads is also critical.
  • Green areas: It is important to develop and maintain green areas, gardens and parks in industrial areas. Plantations can be done on sidewalks to minimise dust generation.  

Use of cleaner fuels:

  • A study should be initiated to understand the feasibility and timeline of bringing natural gas to MIA and other major industrial areas of Alwar. Based on the feasibility study, a time-bound plan should be prepared to make industries switch to natural gas. 

For more information, please contact Shreya Verma of CSE’s industrial pollution unit: shreya@cseindia.org, 8882084294