Bangalore, far from its adage of garden city, figures prominently on the list of highly polluted cities when tested on many pollution parameters, according to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on the state of air pollution and mobility.
Under particulate matter Bangalore has been identified as one among 14 cities that have high levels of particulate matter, while 47 per cent cities monitored in the State exceed ambient air quality standards in this category.
These figures are drawn from air quality analysis data by the Central Pollution Control Board, and are part of the statistics presented and discussed at a workshop conducted jointly by the CSE and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board here on Friday.
Flagging a “multi-pollutant crisis that is waiting to break out”, the CSE report points out that in Bangalore and Hyderabad, benzene levels have seen an increase, and that ozone levels were seen exceeding limits in summer in Hyderabad alone.
The other parameters that are quickly entering the danger zone are nitrogen dioxide levels (where Bangalore is among 10 cities with rising levels), the data indicates.
The data also indicates that inside Bangalore, the statistics are dismal for certain locations classified as “pollution hotspots”. Inside the city, three of nine locations have particulate matter levels (over 24-hourly standards) exceeding by no less than 50 per cent. Two of these mentioned in the report are near Graphite India in Whitefield and near the Yeshwanthpur Police Station. Seven out of these nine locations exceed the annual average standard, the report stated.
The workshop focussed on what immediate steps can be taken to tackle these issues. Vaman Acharya, KSPCB Chairman, said that the most immediate concern is the huge vehicular population. Air pollution continues unabated despite technological advancements that facilitate reduction of emissions, he said. Apart from emission, dust...
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