Due to increase in vehicular traffic and construction activity in the city, there has been a steep rise in the level of air pollution during the past five years with no effective measures from the administration to curb the level of pollution or encourage tree plantation.
As per the annual report on air quality of Punjab, the level of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) has been above the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in many parts of the city.
As per standard norms, the RSPM level should be less than 100m3 but the level of particulate matter has been crossing the permissible amount over the past five years.
After analysing the data given in the report, it has been found that the RSPM level is all-time high this year at 197m3.
Likewise, in 2013, 2014 and 2015, the average level of suspended particulate matter in the industrial area has been 173.5m3, 151m3, and 157.5m3 respectively.
Besides increase in the vehicular traffic, officials said that the rise in the construction activity and waste emanating from the industrial units are also among the reasons for the rise in air pollution level.
“Our department is regularly monitoring the level of air pollution as per NAAQS (National Ambient Air Quality Standards),” said Sandeep Behl, senior environment engineer, PPCB.
Besides RSPM, the pollution control broad also evaluates the level of sulphur dioxide (SO2 gas) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
It has been noticed that there have no major changes in the levels of NO2 and SO2 levels in the air for last five years.
Officials of the state pollution control board said that they take samples from three areas of the city – industrial, commercial and residential.