Bengaluru, The next Delhi!?

How toxic is Bengaluru air? It was ranked 63rd among 168 cities for PM 2.5 levels, titled “Airpocalypse”- on air quality. Tumukuru was ranked 67th. Bengaluru is in the grip of rising air pollution. Official ambient air quality monitoring has already shown 57% increae in particulate matter. With growing vehicle numbers and resultant congestion and dieselization, air pollution is a growing concern in the city. The city is losing its inherent advantage of dominant commuting practices – use of bus and walking at the cost of clean air and public health.

Bangalore needs stringent measures including leaffrogging emissions standards to Euro VI, curbing dieselization, scaling up of integrated public transport, car restraints and walking for clean air.

Centre for science and environment (CSE) released to results from its recent analysis of the official ambient air quality monitoring in Bengaluru as well as its own exposure very high level of pollution within the breathing zone of people. This indicates serious public health risk. Elder people and children below 10 years of age whose lung system are weak are succumbing to allergies or bronchitis due to air pollution. Fine dust that settles on the windows and tables at home is contributing to the increase in lung-related diseases. Particles less than 10 micrometer in diameter (PM 10) pose a health hazard because they can be inhaled and accumulate in the respiratory system.

According to the statistic obtained from the Karnataka State Pollution control Board (KSPCB), PM10 and PM 2.5 have exceeded national standards in almost all locations where ambient air quality stations are located. The KSPCB is monitoring ambient air quality in Bengaluru city at 16 locations as per the guidelines if Central Pollution Control Board covering industrial, residential, rural and other areas under National Ambient Air Quality Programme.

As per the data obtained for the year 2016-2017, out of 16 locations, 15 locations have exceeded the national limits of PM10, PM10 content in the city is 98.9 ug/m as against the national standard of 60 ug/m. Central Silk Board of Hours Road and Whitefield industrial area have the highest PM content with almost double the limit. Particulate matter invades human lungs at night and early in the morning. As a result, people with asthma and bronchits get affected during these times.

Apart from the pollution caused by the industries, the rising levels of vehicular pollution I’d also a cause of concern in Bengalore. Currently, 26 lakh vehicles ply on the narrow roads of Bangalore. 21 lakh are two and three wheelers.

There is no denying the fact that Bangalore had made its mark in the world map, thanks to the software boom, however this had come at a high price.

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