Particulate matter in Gwalior may have come down from 329 micrograms per cubic metre to 141 micrograms per cubic metre in the last two years, but the figure is still twice more than the permissible limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre.
As Gwalior sits at the top of India’s 11 most polluted cities in terms of particulate matter, a concerned Madhya Pradesh government has now decided to set up a continuous ambient air quality monitoring system in the historic city.
Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) member secretary AA Mishra told HT that the Board was looking into the factors behind the high readings of particulate matter in the city.
“That Gwalior has the highest particulate matter in India at 329 micrograms per cubic metre was based on Central Pollution Control Board 2012 report on ‘national ambient air quality — status and trends’. But since then there has been a huge improvement in the scenario. The recent figures show that the particulate matter in the city stands at 141 micrograms per cubic metre,” Mishra said.
Earlier this year, the CPCB data revealed Gwalior topped the list of polluted Indian cities in terms of particulate matter. The data showed that against the permissible limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre, particulate matter in Gwalior was 329 micrograms per cubic metre — over five times the permissible limit.
To a question on the reason for the high particulate matter, Mishra claimed there were many construction activities going on in Gwalior in 2012 which could have added to the particulate matter.
“Also, an increase in vehicular traffic during summer months adds to the particulate matter,” he claimed.
Besides continuous monitoring, steps are being taken to keep a check on pollution with the help of civic and district administration authorities, he said. “Many agencies have to work together after identifying the main factors responsible for high particulate matter,” he said.
MPSPCB regional officer Gwalior AK Jain said the Board had two air quality monitoring stations at present. “But monitoring is done manually in these two stations. After the installation of a continuous ambient air quality system, we will get a continuous data on air quality,” he said.
Jain claimed that a road construction near the office had resulted in the high readings of particulate matter in 2011.
“Because our air monitoring station is located inside the office premises, it gave high readings,” he said.