Bengaluru breathes easier this diwali
By Tushar Kaushik | Express News Service | Published: 21st October 2017 10:57 AM |
BENGALURU: Air pollution levels in the city during Deepavali were lower this year as compared to those last year, as per data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The CPCB has gauges to monitor air quality at five locations in the city. While daily average levels of the pollutant PM2.5 have shown a decrease across three locations, the level of PM 10 has increased in two other locations.
Air pollution levels are generally measured by PM2.5 levels, while particles can also cause respiratory problems, but to a lesser extent.
As reported by Express on Friday, there has been a fall in the sale of firecrackers in the city this year.
Traders attribute it to increased awareness on the environmental harm they cause. However, environmentalist and former environment secretary Yellappa Reddy attributed the fall in PM2.5 levels solely to climatic conditions. He said the unusually wet conditions prevailing in the city over the past one month were conducive for particulate matter to settle down. “When it is sunny, the pollutants circuate in air instead of settling down, hence add to the pollution level.”
He further added that the reduction in number of people bursting firecrackers was not enough to bring about a considerable decline in pollution levels, and called for more awareness among people.
“Over the past decade, the air pollution levels in metropolitan cities like Bengaluru and Delhi have been alarming most of the time,” he said.
Pollution in koramangala exceeds limit by 9 times
A monitoring device stationed at Koramangala by an NGO Jhatkaa.org showed an alarming increase in pollution levels on Thursday. While the permissible level of PM2.5 for India is 60 µg/m3, levels of PM2.5 touched 566 at 10 pm on Thursday - over 9 times the permissible level. PM10 levels, with a permissible level of 100 µg/m3, were recorded to be 636 at the same time - over 6 times higher. To put this in perspective, on checking data from October 12 until Tuesday, the maximum PM2.5 level reached was only 85, and the maximum PM10 level reached was 153.