NEW DELHI: The daily air pollution data being generated in the city is proof that all is not well with the city's environment. Most Games venues are showing constantly high levels of particulate matter (PM) with levels of ozone and NO2 rising by evening. Clean Air Initiative (CAI) for Asian Cities, a Philippines-based organization, has also pointed out in its latest report that Delhi's air pollution is higher than the average of Indian cities.
According to Safar, the online portal on Delhi's air quality being maintained by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, all of the past week saw poor levels of PM2.5 and PM10 on the air quality index at all 12 sites being monitored. Levels of ozone were poor at three venues and moderate at the remaining. The trend has been more or less similar since the Games started. The city has also been witnessing haze since last Wednesday, which, according to Met officials is going to continue for a few more days.
The latest issue of Delhi's Race to Clean Air, the newsletter published by CAI, also states that based on data collected from over 130 Indian cities, Delhi's pollution levels are higher than the average of Indian cities, specially in context to PM10 and NO2. "In 2008, the annual average levels of PM10 and NO2 were twice as high as the average of Indian cities,'' said the report. While NO2 was within permissible levels according to the 1994 parameter of 60 microgram/cu m, it now breaches the latest safe level of 40 micrograms/cu m.
While launching Safar, the government had released specific data on PM2.5 levels in the city. According to that, "the estimated total emission of PM2.5 for Delhi is calculated to be around 68.06 Gg/year in 2010. The trend of high emission of the order of 50-400 ton/year is found over Rajiv Chowk, Sansad Bhawan, India Gate, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Okhla Industrial Area, Pragati Maidan, IP-estate, Janakpuri, Meharuli, Lakshmi Nagar, etc. Large point sources like thermal power stations and other major industrial zones are the major contributors of PM2.5.''
The report further stated: "This maiden study reveals that transport and residential sectors are two dominant sectors responsible for majority of pollution emissions in Delhi followed by industrial and power sectors. NOx emissions are on the rise whereas black carbon emissions are quite low. The unpaved roads have high potential of enhancing the emissions of fine particulate matters.''
While the government claims that there are no short term measures to deal with this kind of pollution, Anumita Roychoudhury of the Centre for Science and Environment says that the October phenomenon is setting in when the air, having become cooler, starts getting heavier and does not give pollutants much area to disperse. "The initial data produced through Safar indicated several `good' days initially which was possibly a combination of the heavy showers and an overall reduction in traffic volumes due to the restrictions imposed by the government. It should learn lessons from the Games and ensure that it keeps the momentum on even after the Games are over,'' she said.
Read more: Delhi’s air quality worsens, haze over city - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Delhis-air-quality-worsens...