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Dubious Record For Imphal With Highest SPM In NE, State Focus Shifts To Wetland Areas

IMPHAL, Mar 28: The Union Planning Commission has expressed deep concern over a survey report published by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) which re-cords Imphal as having the highest amount Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) among the cities of North East region.

Meanwhile, the State Government, in view of the global climate change, has geared up to focus its attention on preserving wetlands of the State.

An official source informed that the CPCB conducted a nationwide survey on air quality in 2009. It was during this survey that presence SPM in the atmosphere of Imphal was found to be above the permissible limit.

As against the national standard of 140 mg/m3 SPM, Imphal recorded 238 mg/m3 SPM. This is much higher than the atmospheric SPM content of Guwahati, Aizawl, Dimapur and Shillong.

Guwahati recorded slightly lower than Imphal at 233 mg/m3.

The main causes of this high content of SPM in the atmosphere are loss of moisture from top soil strata, natural formation of sulfate and nitrates during secondary reaction, excessive urbanization and construction activities, rise in the number of vehicles, excessive use of fossil fuel and biomass like woods, leaves etc, explained the official.

He further that such high percentage content of atmospheric SPM may cause impairment in pulmonary function, respiratory symptoms, asthma, bronchitis and other sub-clinical effects.

Meanwhile it is reported that the State Government would focus on preserving wetlands of the State under the action plan formulated by the State Government to combat climate change.

The Government has already identified some wetlands for preservation.

The wetlands/water bodies identified for preservation include Pumlen/Khoidum/Lamjao Pat, Ikop/Kharung Pat, Loushi Pat, Waithou/Punnem Pat, Aongbikhong Pat and Ushoipokpi Pat in Thoubal district.

Sanapat and Utrapat in Bishnupur district.

Heingang Pat, Yaral Pat, Lampel Choi Pat, Andro and Sannapat, Andro in Imphal East district.

Zeliad Pat in Tamenglong district, Jaimeng Pat in Senapati district and Khayang Kachophung Pat in Ukhrul district.

Tankha Pat, Karam Pat and Lamphel Pat in Imphal West district.

Loktak Pat extending over Bishnupur and Imphal West districts is also included in the wetlands/water bodies identified for preservation

However, the State Government would be seeking some more  time to formulate an action plan for combating climate change citing the Assembly session and the closing of financial year although the Ministry of Forest and Environment had asked the State Government to submit the action plan by March 31.

It is reported that a joint meeting would be held next month between the climate change steering committee headed by the Chief Secretary as chairman and the Germany based environment group GIZ.

Another source informed that the Forest and Environment Department planted tree saplings worth Rs 2.76 crores in seven divisions of the department covering 4335 hectares from 2005-2010 during dry season.

This was mentioned in a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

The report further mentioned that no assessment was made regarding how many of the saplings survived and grew up as the department did not maintain neither plantation journal nor regeneration records.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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