HYDERABAD: While the State government has been promoting Hyderabad as the best destination compared to other cities in India, especially Bengaluru, on various fronts, Hyderabad lags behind the other major cities in South India in terms of its environmental quality. For the most part of the year, the average concentration of Particulate Matter (PM) in Hyderabad’s air is higher than other South Indian cities, including Bengaluru and Chennai.
In the last two years, the average annual concentration of PM 10 and PM 2.5 have also been higher in Hyderabad’s air than other major South Indian cities like Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Thiruvananthapuram and also Bengaluru, and Chennai. This came forth in the data on air pollution presented as a reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Friday by the Union Minister for Environment, Prakash Javadekar.
The average annual concentrations of PM 10 and PM 2.5 in Hyderabad in 2018 were 105 and 55 respectively, both expressed in the units micrograms per meter cube. Compared to this, it was just 78 and 34 in Chennai whereas it was 90 and 47 in Bengaluru, respectively. In 2017, they were 108 and 54 respectively in Hyderabad, whereas they were 62 and 32 in Chennai and 92 and 46 in Bengaluru, respectively.
When we look at data from individual air pollution monitoring units in Hyderabad, the annual average concentrations of PM 10 and PM 2.5 are much higher than the national air quality standards. For example in Jubilee Hills the annual PM 10 and PM 2.5 concentrations last year were 118 and around 57. These values are much higher in areas like Jeedimetla, Kukatpally or Balanagar due to the presence of industries nearby.
This points towards a need for the Telangana government to deliver on its long-pending promise of shifting the 1,125-odd highly polluting industrial units located inside the limits of the Outer Ring Road (ORR) to be designated to industrial areas beyond the ORR.
What are PM10 & PM2.5?
PM 10 and PM 2.5 are respirable particles suspended in the air with the circumference of 10 and 2.5 micrometers or less respectively. These particles are released from various sources like automobile exhausts and even thermal power plants in and around a city