PUNE: Emission from diesel-operated vehicles and dust from road construction have emerged as major pollutants in the city, according to the findings of the emission inventory by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, (IITM) Pune.
The findings were derived from data collected for developing the emission inventory, leading to setting up a 'System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research' (SAFAR) in Pune. New Delhi has such a system. The data was collected by around 100 college students under the guidance of IITM scientists in the last one and a half months.
The inventory found that residents of slums were environment conscious and 60% of them in Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation area used LPG as fuel, unlike slums in Delhi where kerosene and wood were still used as fuel.
During the data collection, 44 roads in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad were monitored for vehicle density. It found that 64% three wheelers use CNG, petrol was used by 26% and 10% used diesel. In case of cars and jeeps, 60% use diesel and 40% use petrol. 94% of the buses use diesel, 5% used CNG and 1% use petrol. In case of light commercial vehicles, 78% use diesel, 20% use petrol and 2% use CNG. Heavy commercial vehicles,93% use diesel, 4% use CNG and 3% use petrol.
Gufran Beig, programme director and scientist of IITM, told TOI that the data showed that majority of the vehicles used diesel. Diesel is a major source of fine-particle pollution and can cause health problems. Diesel vehicles are the main source of street-level pollution here, he said.
Beig said, "A majority of slum residents use LPG here, whereas in New Delhi, it was found that a majority of slum residents use coal, wood and kerosene. It shows that slum residents are more conscious and there is development in these pockets.''
In the commercial sector fuel usage, it was also found that in both Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad civic areas, a majority of the hotels use LPG, but street vendors use both LPG and kerosene.
The study also found that more than 2.96 lakh vehicles coming to the city use the University of Pune chowk on any given weekday. The average number of two-wheelers using this chowk while entering the city at peak time was 10,000 per hour. The Pune-Solapur road was the second-most polluted location with more than 1.5 lakh vehicles using the road every day, followed by Karve Road with 1.48 lakh vehicles and Pimpri chowk with 1.35 lakh vehicles.
Beig said that emission inventory of these pollutants was a key input along with meteorological information which will be developed by IITM. College students have helped collect information from source (hotels, vehicles, slums, industry) of pollution for the emission inventory.
SAFAR will provide information on air quality in real time and make air quality forecast 24 hours in advance along with weather data. The value of different pollutants and how one can prevent it, will be displayed on LCD colour screens in 20 important locations across the city. The system will be developed by Indian Institute of Tropical Meterology (IITM), Pune, under the ministry of Earth Sciences.
"There will be 10 monitoring stations that will be set up in city and its outskirts, with facilities like sophisticated instruments for continous measurements providing valuable inputs about air pollutants. The data generated on the pollutants through GPRS in real time will be sent to the central room of IITM, which will be sent to 20 different locations," he added.