‘Vehicles, construction works and brick kilns causing high particle air pollution in Patna’: Study

According to the study, the concentration of ambient particulate matter (PM), or particle pollution in state capital’s air is much higher than the prescribed standards.
Image for representation. (Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
Image for representation. (Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 28, 2021 03:56 PM IST
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For the residents of Patna, especially the fitness freaks, it’s time to get alert as the air in Bihar’s capital is showing signs of high pollution. A study on Ambient Particulate Matter in Patna City (Bihar) 2021, jointly conducted by the TERI (Tata Energy Research Institute) and the Centre for Environment, Energy and Climate Change (CEECC), a wing of the ADRI (Asian Development Research Institute), under the direction of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board, has revealed some startling facts.

According to the study, the concentration of ambient particulate matter (PM), or particle pollution in state capital’s air is much higher than the prescribed standards in summer and winter and that dust composed of either soil or road or construction materials is the major contributor of this particle pollution in both the seasons.

The report also stated that during summer, the concentration of PM (Particulate Matter) 10 in state capital air was found to be 1.73 to 2.71 micrograms per cubic metre higher than the average standards while during winters PM 10 concentration here was 1.98 to 2.77 micrograms per cubic metre higher than the average standards.

Even the concentration of PM 2.5, which is much tinier than the PM 10 and is far more dangerous ad hazardous for health, was found to be 1.37 to 3.28 higher micrograms per cubic metre higher than the average standards during the winter in the state capital.

The biggest sources of this PM 2.5 in the city air were found to be brick kilns located around the state capital, as well as vehicular emissions, biomass burning, and dust coming from the shores of the Ganga River, roads and from the construction activities going on in the city.

The study discussed the sources of air pollution in the city and also suggested some solutions. It recommended the creation of a green belt with local dense canopy tree species on the banks of river Ganga to stop windblown dust segments from entering the city.

Use of cleaner fuels like gas, electricity instead of biomass, coal in brick kilns and other factories located in and around the city, improvement of vehicular inspection and maintenance programme in and around the city, enhancement of public transport system, preferably on electric modes and installation of electric charging infrastructure and the need to encourage people for non-motorized transportation within 5 to 6 km in the city and development of non-motorized lanes wherever possible within the city, were among other suggestions.

The report, Receptor Modelling Based Source Apportionment Study of Ambient Particulate Matter in Patna City (Bihar) 2021, was released by the state minister of forests, environment and climate change, Niraj Singh, at a function in the state capital on Friday.

“Global warming has been a global issue. The state government has been working tirelessly to mitigate its impacts and save the environment. Poor women have been given gas cylinders under the Ujjawala Yojna to stop pollution during cooking. We also have a target of the plantation of five crore saplings and we are about to achieve the target,” the minister said.

Considering the need for regular monitoring of the air quality, testing centres are being set up in 24 districts, he added. The minister said people too needed to be made aware of the causes of air pollution and its impacts on life. Every individual has to make efforts in this direction, he added.

Dr Ashok Kumar Ghosh, chairman, Bihar State Pollution Control Board, said that single-use carry bag has been banned in state as part of the effort to save the environment. But it needs to be implemented effectively, he added.

S Chandrashekhar, member secretary, Bihar State Pollution Control Board, said that the study of the air quality in the state capital was conducted to see the exact situation. “Before making any development plans, we need to know the problems and their sources,” he said. This is why the study focused on the sources of air pollution and then the solutions were discussed, he added.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021