BENGALURU: The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has established that there has been an alarming surge in air pollution around the Metro construction site on Mysuru Road. The study, submitted to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), has goaded it to rapidly take up road restoration work during the last three weeks around its construction sites.
A senior KSPCB official said, “The main finding of our study on Mysuru Road was the surge in air pollution levels on the roads in the vicinity of the construction site which is detrimental to public health. It is the responsibility of the contractor to ensure that the roads near the footpath, which witness massive footfall since the Metro occupies the central portion, get restored so that public are not inconvenienced. But the contractors seem to ignore this aspect cited in the work order.”
The study was conducted using an Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Van, placed outside R V College, Kengeri, next to a Metro construction site between 11 am and 7 pm on July 20, the official said. While placing on record that the Metro was a boon for people, the study called upon BMRCL to take steps to control air pollution at construction sites.
“The improper maintenance of roads at construction sites are responsible for the surge in levels of particulate matter, PM 2.5 and PM 10,” the study said. “While the PM 10 level touched a maximum of 337/m3 , the level permissible under the Environment Protection Act 1986 is 100/m3. In the case of PM 2.5, it touched a maximum of 113 /m3 against a permissible level of 60/m3,” it added.
In case of carbon monoxide too, the prescribed limits are 2 mg/m3, while it touched a maximum of 4.94 mg/m3. “Carbon monoxide is released due to unburnt petrol from two-wheelers which cause jams near the Metro construction sites,” it added. The KSPCB official said, “We had sent the report to BMRCL a few months ago. We are yet to get a response from them on the steps taken to redress the issues cited.”
BMRCL managing director Ajay Seth said, “I am not sure if we have sent a formal response. But we have been restoring roads around Metro sites rapidly. Only during the heavy rains in October were the restoration works hampered. For the past three weeks, we have been restoring Bannerghatta Road, Kanakarpura Road and Maravelli Road.”
Speaking of two different steps being taken to redress it, Seth said, “We have removed barricades wherever possible and provided black topping on the roads. The extra debris has also been removed along all the roads.”