Despite the increasing number of vehicular traffic on the hills, the air is still clean in key hill stations of Himachal Pradesh, however, the rapidly growing industries has increased pollution level in main industrial towns of the state.
Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board monitors air in as many as 11 towns across the state, which includes Shimla, Parwanoo, Jassur, Poanta Sahib, Kala Amb, Baddi, Nalagarh, Sundarnagar, ManaIi, Una and Dharamsala. The air quality is being monitored under National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme.
The Board on Tuesday laid its annual report in the Vidhan Sabha at Dharamsala. The report revealed that emission of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide were high in the industrial towns, including Baddi and Nalagarh. The SO2 emission was recorded as high as 20.8 ug/m3 at Baddi and nitrogen oxide was observed at 108.8 ug/m3.
According to the report, the ambient air quality in Shimla and other towns was below the permissible limits. The annual average values of respirable suspended particulate matters (RSPM) at the air monitoring stations at Sector IV Parwanoo, Manali and Dharamshala were observed well below the permissible limits. However, the ambient air quality in Baddi, Damtal-I, Damtal-II, Paonta Sahib, Gondpur, Kala Amb, Trilokpur, Una, Mehatpur and both the stations at Sunder Nagar was observed to be above the permissible limit for the annual average.
The report reveals that the air pollution levels have decreased in Sector I Parwanoo, Sector IV Parwanoo, Baddi, AHC Barotiwala, Municipal Council Nalagarh Nalagarh, Baddi, Kala Amb, Una, Mehatpur and Hadimba Road, Manali in comparison to previous year, as there was decrease in the level of RSPM.
Contrary to it, the air monitoring stations in Shimla, Damtal, Paonta Sahib, Gondpur, Trilokpur, Sunder Nagar and Nehru Park, Manali has shown increase in the RSPM as compared to previous year’s data.
The state board has four laboratories for carrying out analysis of water, waste water, solid waste, air and bio-monitoring samples. Four small laboratories for analysis of only SO2, NOx and RSPM in ambient air are located at Shimla, Baddi, Mandi and Una.