BENGALURU: People will have you believe that Bengaluru is becoming more polluted with every passing day. Surprisingly, however, the competent authorities will tell you the exact opposite. In what has come as a welcome surprise, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) announced that air quality in the city has improved thanks to the commissioning of Phase-I of the Metro, traffic management and road improvement.
KSPCB chairman Lakshman made the announcement, here on Saturday. However, the air quality has shown an improvement only in comparision with its own past figures and continues to remain above the national pollution levels, he added. The declaration came as part of the disclosure of the latest figures on air pollution recorded by the pollution board’s monitoring stations at 16 locations. Lakshman told Express: “There is a reduction in particulate matter 10 (PM10) in areas such as Victoria Road, Nayandahalli and City Railway Station. Metro’s completion of both East-West and North-South Line have definitely played a role in this.”
K R Puram Metro station that connects Victoria Road and the interchange at Kempe Gowda Metro station were inaugurated on June 17. “Whitefield, Mysuru Road and Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) area have benefited due to better roads and completion of construction activities. B-track roads, asphalting and better traffic management by introducing numerous one-ways have contributed to reduced polluted levels,” Lakshman said.
“Road widening and asphalting works have helped in reducing PM10 on Mysuru Road. The completion of underpasses, flyovers and bypass roads along BIAL have also brought down the pollution levels along this stretch,” he said.
Senior Scientific Officer B Nagappa, KSPCB conceded that improved traffic management had reduced pollution levels in areas such as Central Silk Board, Whitefield among others. “From 2012-2015, there was a steady increase in PM10 at Central Silk Board due to road widening and construction activities. All these works were completed in 2015. Other air pollutants have remained within the national pollution average across the city for the past five years.”
Most harmful air pollutant PM10 is regarded
as the most harmful air pollutant. It consists of fine dust particles that measure less than 10 microns. A high presence of this particle in the air can cause respiratory problems.
SG Halli better than the rest
Of the 16 places reviewed in the city, S G Halli was the only area which had PM10 levels below the national average at 46 microgram per cubic metre (µg/m3). Whitefield has recorded the least PM10 levels in the past three years.
Year PM10 levels *
Year PM10 levels
*(microgram per cubic metre or µg/m3)