‘Air pollution in Dehradun more than four times of accepted levels’

The report is based on a 10-day field study wherein representatives of the foundation measured air quality samples in 10 locations of the city. The study was conducted between February 1 and 10.

dehradun Updated: Feb 14, 2018 21:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand news,Air pollution,more than four times of accepted levels
Gati Foundation officials raise the issue at a press conference in Dehradun on Wednesday.(HT PHOTO)

The concentration of particulate matter (PM) 10 and 2.5 in Dehradun have reached alarming levels, showed a report released by a city-based environment think tank, Gati Foundation, here on Wednesday.

Levels of PM 10 and 2.5 are seen as indicators of air quality. Lower these levels, purer is the air.

The report is based on a 10-day field study wherein representatives of the foundation measured air quality samples in 10 locations of the city. The study was conducted between February 1 and 10.

“At present, there are only three air monitoring centres installed by the Central Pollution Control Board in Dehradun and they don’t measure the levels of PM 2.5, which are more harmful than PM 10. Our study has found that 75% of the readings for PM 10 were more than the permissible standards accepted nationally, while the figure for PM 2.5 was 85%,” said Anoop Nautiyal, the foundation’s chairperson.

In India, the national permissible limit for PM 10 (for daily measurement) is 100, and that for PM 2.5 is 60. However, the World Health Organisation standards are 50 and 25 for PM 10 and PM 2.5 respectively.

The 10 locations where the samples were collected include Clock Tower, Saharanpur Chowk, Bindal Bridge, ISBT, Dilaram Chowk, Rispana Bridge, Karanpur-DAV, Raipur/ Sahastradhaara, Doon Hospital and Balliwala Chowk.

Among these, ISBT and Saharanpur Chowk were found to be the most polluted places. While ISBT recorded PM 10 levels of 472 on February 1, the same for Saharanpur Chowk was 466 on February 5. “This is more than four times the national permissible limits,” Nautiyal said.

Asked about their methodology, Nautiyal said that the team conducted spot visits using a thermo-scientific machine acquired from Greenpeace Research Laboratory, University of Exter.

He added that their findings are commensurate with past reports. “On December 15 last year, the Centre informed the Lok Sabha that Dehradun is the most polluted city among those classified as eco-sensitive cities in the country.”

Nautiyal said that even the data of the state pollution control shows that the air pollution levels in Dehradun (PM 10) have increased by 108% in the last six years. “In 2011, the annual PM 10 level in ISBT was 138. This increased to 287 by 2017,” he said.

Meanwhile, the International Road Foundation, a Geneva based organisation working on road safety, has also called for banning vehicles that use single and double cylinder naturally aspirated diesel engines in the city.

In Dehradun, Vikram and other three-wheelers use such engines and they are a major cause of air pollution, the organisation said in a press release.

“They are the main source of pollution in the urban environment. India is a unique country which has been using single and double cylinder diesel technology for transportation of passengers as well as goods. These type of technologies were used globally, mostly for water pumping from ground or for boat rides,” said KK Kapila, chairperson, International Road Federation.

In January, Greenpeace had released a report on the state of air quality in the country and Dehradun was ranked among the top 10 polluted cities.

However, members of the state pollution control board had rubbished the report stating that cities like Kanpur and Kolkata, which are far more polluted than Dehradun, have been ranked lower than it.

First Published: Feb 14, 2018 21:34 IST