Rajasthan’s state capital is the 11th most polluted city in the country, figures released by the Central Pollution Control Board indicate, with levels of harmful particulate matter in the Jaipur air being well above safe limits.
The central environment monitoring agency’s report said PM10 – particulate matter up to 10micron in size– level in Jaipur was detected at 187 micrograms per cubic metre. The safe level is 60mg per cubic metre and the city’s dismal air quality is already showing affects on people’s health with respiratory illnesses showing a spike.
PM10 particles come from smoke, dirt and dust from factories, farming, and roads. They make their way through the nasal airways and into human bodies, causing respiratory infections.
Rajasthan pollution control board’s chief environment engineer and officer in-charge (planning) AK Puri said the main reasons of pollution in Jaipur was emission from vehicles, burning of solid waste in open, climatic conditions (dust in air), use of unclean domestic fuel and lack of adequate green spaces.
Rajasthan has seen a significant rise in respiratory illnesses among children – the group most susceptible to pollution-related problems. The number of kids suffering from acute respiratory infection (ARI) has more than doubled in the three-year period between 2010-11 and 2012-13.
According to the Annual Health Survey (AHS), 15.9% children suffered from ARI in 2012-13 , as compared to 11.3% in 2011-12 and 6.5% in 2010-11.
“The cause of increase in cases of children suffering from ARI is pollution. It weakens the respiratory system, which increases the cases of ARI (actute respiratory infections)”, said Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital’s additional medical superintendent and respiratory disease expert Dr Ajit Singh Shaktawat.
According to AHS 2012-13 report, urban areas had higher number of children suffering from ARI compared to rural areas. In urban, the figure was 18.7%, while in rural areas it was 15.1%.
Jaipur city has 32.9% of children suffering from ARI, while Jaipur district with 37.2% children suffering from ARI.
Pollution control board official Puri suggested that the Jaipur Municipal Corporation collects and disposes solid waste as per the norms of Government of India.
He also suggested the traffic department look into the density distribution of vehicles and make many roads uni-directional.