Jaipur with a population of more than one million stands at the ninth position in the list of the most polluted cities, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data revealed, raising concerns among experts.
The data, tabled in parliament on Tuesday, shows a consistent increase in air pollution level in the Pink City over the last three years -- 224 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) in 2016; 171 in 2015, and 150 in 2014.
“There is a need for drastic action because some of the pollution-mapping stations in Jaipur actually have readings higher than that of even some of their counterparts in Delhi. Air pollution adversely affects health, especially of children, elderly people and those with lung diseases,” said Virendra Singh, former medical superintendent of SMS Hospital and director of Asthma Bhawan.
“There is an immediate need to introduce eco-friendly vehicles running on renewable energy sources,” he added.
“A large number of vehicles in countries, such as Norway, are run by electricity. We have to incorporate such measures in Jaipur as well. At present the situation is so bad that a person has no choice but to breathe in polluted air in the city choked by frequent traffic congestions,” Singh said.
According to the CPCB data, other cities having alarming levels of air pollution include Delhi, Agra, Ranchi, and Ghaziabad. The data reveals that Allahabad having more than one million population has the highest level of air pollution -- 276 micrograms per cubic metre.
Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) officials said they are working on an action plan to improve the accountability of stakeholders.
“Air pollution happens because of many factors such as burning of municipal waste, the dust rising from sweeping and also the fact that there is more presence of dust particles in the air of Jaipur because Rajasthan is a desert state. We have formulated an action plan to ensure better coordination with all these departments,” said Vijay Singhal, chief environmental engineer, RSPCB.
“A study on the air pollution in Jaipur is also being done by IIT Kanpur, which will help improve the air quality in the city.”