A recent study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) may have placed Indore as the 68th most polluted city of the world but district officials say that a number of steps have been taken to reduce pollution levels in the city over the year.
Though three cities of the state have figured in the list with Gwalior being ranked as the second most polluted city of the world, the district authorities and the state pollution control board have taken a number of steps to reduce the annual mean of particulate matter below the existing 76 microgram per cubic metre or ug/m3, said P Narhari, Indore collector.
“The situation in Indore is better compared to the other cities of the state but the simple mention of Indore in the list of top 100 most polluted cities of the world is a cause of concern in itself,” he said.
Authorities focus on an environmental-friendly public transport system
The district administration and the state pollution control board are focusing on an environmental-friendly public transportation system, reducing smoke from factories and domestic pollution to improve the situation in the city, he said.
“In the last few years, we have introduced a good public transportation system to lower the number of vehicles in the city besides monitoring factories and the industrial areas to reduce smoke discharge. New energy-efficient ways to treat solid waste has also been introduced,” he said.
Vehicular emissions cause maximum pollution in Indore
According to figures available with the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) in Indore, emission from vehicles cause the maximum pollution in the city.
“Around 60% of the entire particulate matter is caused due to vehicle emissions while the rest is caused by industrial and domestic pollution,” said DK Waghela, environmentalist at the MPPCB. The normal value of PM 2.5 as per the WHO guideline, is 10 ug/m3
With better steps taken by the administration, including the launching of i-buses, checking vehicles for the Bharat Standard-III and IV compliance, stricter norms for factories, the situation has improved in Indore, states data available with the MPPCB.
“In 2013, the average mean was 140 and it has come to 96 in 2015. Pollution levels by vehicular emissions has come down to 40-45%. Public transportation has helped in achieving this statistic,” said Waghela.