Value of PM 2.5 and PM 10 at alarming levels: As mercury falls, city breathe bad air
Nashik: On the lines of Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune, Nashik is emerging on the map of air pollution. The city is registering a high level of prominent pollutant Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) and PM 2.5. The city is experiencing a high concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 in its air, more than the specified limit.
The level of PM 10 and PM 2.5 is measured in microgram in per meter cube area (ug/m3) and the value should not exceed more than 100 ug/m3. The city is experiencing a high level of pollutants between 8 pm to 12 am as per the data on the website of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). In the past few days, the city has registered the highest level of PM10 and PM 2.5. On November 13, the value of PM10 reached 156 ug/m3 and of PM 2.5 301 ug/m3.
The National Air Quality Index which is monitored by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has its Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System (CAAQMS) station at KTHM College. The data on the CAAQMS station is monitored on an hourly basis and is compiled on an average based on a 24-hour data.
An official from MPCB explained, “The desperation of air particles decline during the winter season as the temperature drops. The pollutant particles do not move upward due to low temperatures. They settle in the air leading to pollution. The growing vehicular traffic is also increasing in the city which is also an add-on factor for rising air pollution in the city.”
Botanist and environmentalist Dnyaneshwar Khandbahale expressed concern at the deteriorating air quality. “The PM 10 and PM 2.5 are the most important factors to measure air pollution. The value of PM10 should not exceed more than 100 ug/m3. If the value is exceeding this level then it is really a cause for concern. The people are not aware of the air pollution in the manner they should,” said Khandbahale said.
He added that the growing vehicular traffic in the city is a major concern in the current situation. The city needs a good public transport system and people should resort to the minimum use of private vehicles for a better tomorrow.
The air quality in the city has dropped to alarming levels this year and the authorities need to take action. The right to a clean and healthy environment is in the right to life under article 21 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has already ruled that as per the directive principle of state policy under Articles 47 and 48 A, it is the duty of the government authorities to improve public health, protect and prevent the environment from degradation.