STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Time to wake up

Published: 13th November 2016 01:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th November 2016 03:34 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: How long would it take for Hyderabad to suffer the fate of our smog-smothered national capital? Not too long, given that the city figures among the top 100 cities in the world as far as terrible air quality goes (WHO 2011). However, officials still seem to think there’s still time before the rooster crows.


In India, air quality is measured from Good to Severe. In Hyderabad, it varies from Moderate to Poor. While scientists opine that the metro’s air quality could slip permanently into the Poor category in three to four years, N Raveendhar, a senior environmental scientist at the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB), says it is unlikely Hyderabad will witness a thick smog as in Delhi.


The reason for this optimism, according to environmentalist K Purushotham Reddy, is that Hyderabad, unlike Delhi, has no thermal power plants belching smoke into the air, and there is no large-scale burning of crop residue in the hinterland.


However, a 2014 paper titled ‘Source emissions and health impacts of urban air pollution in Hyderabad, India’ by Sarath K Guttikunda and Ramani V Kopakka published in Air Quality Atmosphere & Health indicates there is cause for more urgent concern. 


In Hyderabad, the major sources of air pollution are vehicle exhaust and road dust. Raveendhra points to a 2008 study in Hyderabad that indicated vehicles caused 49 per cent of the pollution, road dust 33 per cent, biomass burning 4 per cent and coal 4 per cent.


However, despite these warning signs, vehicle growth continues unabated. Guttikunda and Kopakka’s paper says the city had a total vehicle fleet of a little over 3 million in 2011. This number had touched 4.8 million by this year.


While Hyderabad’s medical community has no numbers for the incidence of respiratory diseases due to pollution, the 2014 paper cited data that an estimated 3000 premature deaths were attributable to air pollution in 2006 in Hyderabad. Based on models created from the data, “We estimated 3,700 premature deaths and 2,80,000 asthma attacks per year due to PM pollution in the GHMC region,” it says.


Understandably then, Purushotham Reddy questions the actions taken by TSPCB. “When they know pollution in the city will slip into the Poor category, why are they not taking any action?” he asks.

Stay up to date on all the latest Hyderabad news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp