BENGALURU: Bengaluru may soon become like Delhi in terms of air pollution. Even though the city’s air quality index is not an alarming figure, the ground reality paints a different picture.Dust from construction debris (jelly stones and mud) to fill potholes on roads by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) engineers and contractors flies around whenever cars pass by. The dry weather has only made matters worse. Commuters do not just face the risk of falling from their two-wheelers due to the haphazardly filled potholes, they are unable to see or breathe due to the dust.
“Every time a vehicle moves over a mud or stone-filled pothole, dust flies. But government officials do not care as they move around in air conditioned cars,” said Aparna K, a citizen.The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board records show that the air quality index is not alarming, yet. This is because the board is recording real time data only from seven stationed air quality monitoring stations, and are not present across the city. Also, they record data only when vehicles are moving. Commuters say this is of no use as the data is not accurate.
According to KSPCB data, the air quality index at 4 pm on Monday afternoon was 146, which is moderate and can cause respiratory problems. A senior KSPCB official said, “Air pollution is high in some pockets because of the condition of the road. The BBMP has been told about it, but they seem incapable of multi-tasking. The PM10 levels are at 100, in most places in the city, against the annual average of 60. The NGT panel had raised an alarm for Bengaluru and had directed the government to take all measures to reduce the air pollution by 20-30%, but nothing seems to be happening on ground.”
BBMP Solid Water Management, Special Commissioner, D Randeep, said that there are 15 mechanical sweepers but they are not operating in all locations because they can only move on well tarred, pothole-free roads. Dust and stones in potholes means pourakarmikas and engineers are not doing their job.
n Cunningham Road
n Magadi Road
n Bannergahtta Road
n Mysuru Road
n Whitefield Main Road
n Bellandur Main Road
n Dairy Circle
n Outer Ring Road