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Pune ranked 79th in country for air pollution in 2020-21 by CSE

PUNE Pune is among 16 cities from central and western India that have shown a stable trend in air pollution this winter, as compared to previous years, according to analysis of real-time data carried out by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 08:17 PM IST

PUNE Pune is among 16 cities from central and western India that have shown a stable trend in air pollution this winter, as compared to previous years, according to analysis of real-time data carried out by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

At the national level, Pune was ranked 79th in air pollution in 2020-21.

The city’s average PM2.5 during the winter season this year was 59 (μg/m3), which was lower than the same period in 2019-20 by a factor of -7.

On the other hand, Pune’s peak level pollution this winter was 103 (μg/m3), which was lower than the same period in 2019-20 by a factor of -3.

The ranking for city was 23rd among central and western cities.

The data was collected from eight stations across the city for the study, CSE said on Wednesday.

“Winter is a special challenge when inversion, and cool and calm weather traps and spikes daily pollution. While the northern Indo Gangetic Plain is most affected, other regions also experience a rise, but with lesser intensity. This year, even though the average level of PM2.5 during summer and monsoon months was considerably lower than the previous year due to the summer lockdown, the winter PM2.5 concentration has risen compared to 2019 in many cities across regions,” says Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE’s executive director in charge of research and advocacy.

Roychowdhury adds: “This bouncing back of pollution post-lockdown unmasks the high impacts of local and regional pollution. This demands quicker regional reforms to curb pollution from vehicles, industry, power plants and waste burning to curb winter pollution and also to sustain annual improvement at a regional scale with speed.”

The analysis has studied 99 cities where data availability for two consecutive winters meets the minimum criteria of 75 per cent of data completeness requirement.

“This analysis has helped to understand the regional differences in regional profile of winter pollution. Even though there is considerable regional variation, peak pollution episodes increased and synchronsed within the regions during winter. At the same time, uneven rise across monitoring locations and contiguous cities bring out the impact of local pollution,” says Avikal Somvanshi, programme manager, CSE’s Urban Lab team of the Sustainable Cities programme.

The analysis is part of the air pollution tracker initiative of CSE and was based on publicly available granular real-time data (15-minute averages) from the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) official online portal, the Central Control Room for Air Quality Management.

The data is captured from 248 official stations under the Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System (CAAQMS) spread across 115 cities in 22 states and union territories. CAAQMS has many more cities in its network than included in the analysis.

India’s most polluted

Gaziabad – most polluted

Delhi – fifth most polluted

Smaller towns see higher winter pollution levels than mega cities

Source: Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)

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