You are on page 1of 45

Air Pollution in Meghalaya

Dr. S. C. Katiyar
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Northeastern Regional Office

Kick the Habit!

Towards a Low Carbon Economy



What is climate?

What makes the climate change?

How has climate changed in the past?

Human caused climate change: the greenhouse effect.

Have we changed the climate?

What will the future climate look like?

How will climate change affect people?
What is climate?
Climate is an average of weather (Temperature, Rainfall...)
over a “long” time (more than 2-3 weeks).

Weather and Climate


climate (average
What makes climate change?

Changes in the sun

Changes in the earth's orbit

Changes in the clouds

Changes in ice sheets

Volcanic eruptions

Changes in the gases in the atmosphere (Greenhouse

Internal Wiggles (for example El Nino)
Some cause bigger changes, some cause small changes
Some cause slower changes, some cause fast changes
Some cause changes that last, some cause changes that go away fast
How has climate changed in the past?

Ice Ages

Big swings in climate over 100,000 yrs

Occurred over last million years

Advance and retreat of ice sheets

We are in between ice ages right now

21 Now
years ago
Human-Forced Climate Change

Climate changes can be natural or human caused.

Humans can
the climate by
changing the
in the atmosphere.
The Greenhouse Effect
Human influence on climate: the
greenhouse effect
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a major greenhouse gas

Human burning of fossil fuels, and plants releases CO2

Have we changed the climate?
Changes in global temperature over the last 125 years
Have we changed the climate?
Changes in global temperature over the last 1,000 years
Have we changed the climate?
Everywhere (almost) is warming!
Have we changed the climate?
Glaciers are retreating all over the world

The South Cascade glacier

retreated dramatically in the
20th century

Courtesy of the USGS glacier group

What will the future climate look like?

Global warming due to greenhouse gases will continue for many years
even if we stop releasing CO2
How much warming occurs depends on what societies and businesses

decide about how much fuel they burn

We use climate models to predict what might happen in different cases

What will the future climate look like?

How will climate change affect people?
Understanding: Good


Sea-level rise

Ecosystem change

effect on species

effect on farming

Melting of polar ice

effect on shipping

effect on wildlife

Coral death
How will climate change affect people?
Understanding: Medium


Increase in intensity of hurricanes

Increase in droughts in some places

Increase in intense rain in some

US Geological Survey
How will climate change affect people?
Understanding: Low


How will humans react

Surprise changes

WHOs Working Committee defines the air

pollution as “limited to the situations in
which the outdoor ambient atmosphere
contains materials in such concentrations
which are harmful to man and his
The Air (Prevention and Control of
Pollution) Act, 1981 (CPCB, 199 ) defines
air pollution as “the presence in the
atmosphere of any air pollutant, which in
tern is defined as solid, liquid or gaseous
substance present in atmosphere in such
concentration as may be or tend to be
injurious to human beings or other living
creatures or plants or property or
Major Sources of Air Pollution in

Sources of air pollution in Meghalaya can

be classified as
Natural sources
 windblown dust
 ozone from lighting and ozone layer
 esters and terpenes from vegetation
 smoke, gases and fly ash from forest fires
 pollens and other aeroallergens
 gases and odors from natural decomposition
and natural radioactivity
This source constitutes background pollution
concentrations and control strategies have very
little or no impact on such problems.
Anthropogenic (Manmade) Sources
 Vehicular emissions
 Industrial emissions
 Mining and quarrying operations
 Shifting (jhum) cultivation
 Solid waste disposal and refuse burning
 Domestic fuel burning
 Surface heating (in winter)
 Infrastructure developmental activities
 Other non-point activities
Vehicular emissions

 Vehicular emissions are the major source of

air pollution in Meghalaya particularly in
urban areas and along the highways
 The problems gets magnified as this is a
main source of transportation in state since
rail and water ways are not available. Air
connectivity in the state is also poor and
concept of transportation through Ropeways
has yet to creep in.
 The major pollutants emitted from the vehicles include
suspended particulate matters (SPM), respirable
suspended particulate matters (RSPM i.e. PM10 &
PM2.5)), soot, oxides of nitrogen (NOX), oxides of
sulphur (SOX), carbon mono oxide (CO),
hydrocarbons (HC) and plynuclear aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAH), benzene etc.
 Some of these pollutants are known CARCINOGENS
 Presently, per capita vehicle in the state ranks 4th
in the country (1 vehicle per 8 persons). This
together with the floating vehicle population
further aggravates the problem of air pollution (in
urban areas and along highways).
 Studies conducted by the MSPCB indicates that
more than 50% vehicles emit pollutants beyond
permissible limits.
 Studies regarding the total pollution load emitted
by the vehicular emissions and health
implications of the same on the residents of
urban areas and along highways has yet to be
taken up in the state
Industrial emissions
 Mostly air and water and air polluting industries have been set up in
the state.
 The air polluting industries include cement plants, lime kilns, brick
kilns, ferro alloy, stone crushing, stone grinding and polishing, flour
mills, bakeries, fruit preservation etc.
 These industries are mostly located in Ri Bhoi, East Khasi Hills and
Jaintia Hills districts. Some industries are located in Garo hills also.
 The major pollutants emitted from industries include suspended
particulate matters (SPM), respirable suspended particulate matters
(RSPM i.e. PM10 & PM2.5)), oxides of nitrogen (NOX), oxides of
sulphur (SOX), carbon mono oxide (CO), etc.
 Siting of industry is very important from pollution dispersion point of
 Mixing height determination and air shed characteristics are critical
parameters for identification of an ideal site for an air polluting
Mining and quarrying operations

 Haphazard and unscientific mining activities mostly of coal and lime

stone have already spread in almost all districts of the state but most
badly affected include jaintia hills, east khasi hills and garo hills.
 The major pollutants emitted from mining operations include
suspended particulate matters (SPM) and respirable suspended
particulate matters (RSPM i.e. PM10 & PM2.5). Associated activities
emit pollutants like oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and oxides of sulphur
(SOX), etc.
 Mining Policy of the state is likely to be announced
shortly which will help in curbing the problem of
environmental degradation due to mining and quarrying
 The State can also consider preparation of Regional
Environment Impact Assessment (REIAs) and Regional
Environmental Management Plans (REMPs) as
envisaged in the National Environment Policy, 2006
 Initiative for preparation of REIA and REMP with respect
to mining activities in the state may be taken up by
Mineral Resource Department.
 Revenue for preparation of REIA and REMP may be
collected from the coal miners of the concerned areas.
 Shifting (jhum) cultivation, solid waste
disposal and refuse burning, domestic fuel
burning, surface heating (in winter),
infrastructure developmental activities and
other non-point activities are such sources
of air pollution for which studies to assess
pollution load have yet to be taken up in
the state
Air pollution levels

 Data for suspended particulate matters (SPM),

oxides of nitrogen (NOX), sulphur di oxide (SO2)
only are available
 Sources of these data are various reports of
Meghalaya SPCB and NBRI, Lucknow
 Pollution Levels in towns (residential areas),
industrial and coal mining areas only are
Air pollution levels in towns (residential areas)
Place SPM (µg/m3) SO2 NOX (µg/m3)
Nongthymmai, Shillong 347.2 30.6 44.9
Dhankheti, Shillong 400.6 11.8 42.1
Barik , Shillong 227.3 10.6 28.1
Police Bazar, Shillong 259.5 9.2 30.8
Barabazar, Shillong 334.9 4.2 37.9
Mawlai, Shillong 349.8 19.2 43.2
Cherrapunjee (Near 41.0 BDL 19.3
Cherrapunjee (Near MCC 137.0 BDL 41.2
guest house)
Shella 46.1 BDL BDL
Air pollution levels in towns (residential areas)

Place SPM (µg/m3) SO2 (µg/m3) NOX (µg/m3)

Nongpoh, Ri Bhoi 362.3 7.5 41.2

Nongstoin, WKH 83.8 5.5 7.0
Tura, GH 59.8 BDL 67.5
Baghmara, GH 33.7 BDL BDL
Jowai, Jaintia hills 113.7 32.6 11.7
Air pollution levels in towns (residential areas)

Place SPM (µg/m3) SO2 (µg/m3) NOX (µg/m3)

Mendipathar. EGH 128.6 BDL 3.7

Damas, EGH 143.2 BDL 9.2
Bajengdoba, EGH 104.9 BDL 7.9
Dainadubi, EGH 147.5 BDL 6.8
Rongjeng, EGH 80.1 BDL BDL
Darugiri, EGH 79.7 BDL 12.8
Williamnagar, EGH 86.9 BDL 7.3
Air pollution levels in towns (residential areas)

Place SPM (µg/m3) SO2 (µg/m3) NOX (µg/m3)

Chokpot, GH 115.8 BDL 8.2

Rongra, GH 141.4 BDL 22.3
Siju, GH 311.9 BDL 30.9
Kherapara, GH 159.8 21.4 12.3
Zikzak, GH 192.5 BDL 13.2
Selsella, GH 246.9 BDL 26.5
Hallydyganj, GH 274.8 BDL 14.6

Dadengiri, GH 168.9 31.2 BDL

Air pollution levels in industrial areas

Place SPM SO2 NOX (µg/m3)

(µg/m3) (µg/m3)
RKB premises, Barapani 367.8 BDL BDL
MIDC, Barapani IA 185.1 BDL 22.3
MCC premises, 465.0 3.6 13.8
Komorrah Limestone 140.4 BDL 19.3
Mowroh Industrial Estate, 63.5 BDL 8.9
EPIP, Byrnihat 285.5 BDL 33.3
Air pollution levels in coal mining areas
Place SPM (µg/m3) SO2 (µg/m3) NOX (µg/m3)

Sutunga 70.3 21.2 37.5

Bapung 246.2 BDL 40.5
Mookhep 396.2 BDL 45.9
Lakadong 285.0 BDL 29.6
Jairan 179.9 BDL 29.0
Shkentalang 198.5 BDL 27.6
Khleiriat 267.5 BDL 45.5
Lad Rymbai 649.9 BDL 31.2
 Air pollution in Meghalaya is fast becoming a major
problem in spite of the efforts made by the concerned
state agencies. Trends show increasing level of
monitored pollutants in urban, industrial and mining
 The major problems requiring focused attention are
curtailing of vehicular emissions by way of introduction of
advanced technology vehicles, low sulphur diesel and
low benzene petrol, alternative transport systems, better
road networking including bye-pass, phasing out of old
vehicles, schemes for providing buses etc. to schools,
more vigorous implementation of monitoring mechanism
 Studies on pollution load by vehicles and its impact on
human health, vegetation, infrastructure etc. to be
 Air polluting industrial siting should be based on
dispersion and assimilative capacity of the airsheds as
wrong siting may subsequently lead to typical situations
as witnessed at Barapani industrial area, EPIP and
Byrnihat areas.
 Most of the industries so far established in Meghalaya
are air polluting and are mostly mineral based. Since this
trend is likely to continue in the future as well early
notification of the mineral policy will help in mitigating the
environmental concerns .
 REIAs and REMPs for areas where mining operations are in
progress/ or likely to be in progress be prepared to contain
environmental degradation.
 Scope of establishment of non-polluting industries in the state
be encouraged.
 Establishment of a State Natural Resources Planning Board
may be considered.
 With the notification of a new Environmental Impact
Assessment notification, 2006, the states are provided with the
powers to issue EC to certain category of projects and
developmental activities. This should be utilized as a tool for
sustainable development of the state.
 Research works are so far restricted to basic criteria
pollutants only like SPM, SO2 and NOX etc.
 Efforts are required to assess the pollution levels of
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), benzene,
PM2.5, soot (elemental carbon), and secondary
pollutants like per acyl nitrates (PANS), O3 etc. which
will act as a tool for the policy makers.
 The agencies involved in pollution prevention and
control in the state be properly strengthened for
meeting the complex environmental challenges arising
out due to varied developmental activities.