With concerns about a growing carbon footprint in the port vicinity area, the Chennai Port Trust, one of India’s largest ports, has decided to opt for eco-friendly ways to reduce CO2 emissions.
P Raveendran, Chennai Port’s chairman, said that the port is developing a greenbelt on 31 acres inside the port to reduce the carbon footprint and to ensure ambient air quality parameters. Raveendran said that this move will convert the port into a clean and green port and will help implement the green belt scheme in a systematic way.
The port chairman said that saplings will be planted along the roads and cargo stack areas in addition to traffic islands, medians and lawns.
All this has been done on the study done by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras and environmental experts, which conducted an Emission Inventory and Source Apportionment in the vicinity of the port and adjoining areas. A dispersion model is being finalized to ascertain the contribution of cargo handling in Chennai Port to the ambient air quality in the residential neighbourhood.
Raveendran also said an environment monitoring cell manned by a professional environmental expert and trained engineers is being set up for data generation and management.
Last month, the port also commissioned the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (CAAQM) stations, which were mandated as per the recommendations of the technical sub-committee of the empowered committee to monitor ambient air quality levels at the port as part of the measure to enable dust-free handling of cargo at the port, Raveendran added.
He said the continuous ambient air quality monitoring is focused on key ambient air quality parameters such as particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide.
The port will set up three CAAQM stations located inside the port. These include the marshalling yard area at the south, central berth area and Gate No. 2a. These locations were identified to be sampling locations after discussion with Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.
The data collected at each CAAQM station are fed into a central data server and then streamed live through electronic display boards installed at four locations: Gate No. 1, Gate No. 5, Gate No.10 and near the administrative office complex, the port official said.
Ambient air quality levels have remained well below the permissible value prescribed as per National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) as compared to ambient air quality parameters at Chennai Port from December 1, 2017 to January 28, 2018.
By Jagdish Kumar
India Correspondent | Mumbai