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Airpocalypse II: Dehradun among top five polluted cities in India, finds survey

The study said Dehradun had the highest PM10 levels in the state with annual average levels four times the normal

dehradun Updated: Jan 30, 2018 22:25 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Airpocalypse,Air pollution,PM 10
The study released by Green Peace India has listed Delhi as the city with the highest (PM10) followed by Haryana’s Faridabad, Rajasthan’s Bhiwadi, Bihar’s Patna, and Dehradun in Uttarakhand(HT Photo)

Uttarakhand capital Dehradun has figured among the top five cities in the country that have reported the highest particulate matter or PM10 during 2015-16, a recent survey has revealed.

Dehradun has emerged in the top five list of the most polluted cities above some of tier-I and tier-II cities like Bangalore, Pune, Kanpur among others, the survey has found.

The study, titled, Airpocalypse II--an assessment of air pollution in Indian cities, released by Green Peace India, has listed Delhi as the city with the highest (PM10) followed by Haryana’s Faridabad, Bhiwadi in Rajasthan, Bihar’s Patna, and Dehradun in Uttarakhand. A total of 280 cities across the country were covered during the study.

The report said the 2015 average of PM10 was 190 µg/m3 in Dehradun while it increased to 238 µg/m3 in 2016. The yearly average was 238 µg/m3.

The study said Dehradun had the highest PM10 levels in the state with annual average levels as high as four times above the annual standard and almost two and a half times above the daily standard prescribed under the national ambient air quality standard.

“Dehradun was also amongst the most the polluted cities in the country in terms of PM10 levels. The annual PM10 levels during 2016 in the six cities, including Dehradun, Rudrapur, Haldwani, Haridwar, Kashipur, Rishikesh were 238, 142, 130, 128, 121 and 118 µg/m3,” the study said.

Rubbishing the report, SP Subuddhi, member secretary of Uttarakhand environment protection and pollution control board, said: “Dehradun does not even come in the list of tier-II cities that include 74 cities in the country.”

“I haven’t seen the report yet, but how can a city like ours be listed above some of the top polluting cities like Kanpur, Kolkatta and even Bangalore?”

Rishikesh, however, is listed in as tier-II city while Dehradun falls in the tier-III city catagory.

Statistics of the Dehradun regional transport office (RTO), states that the city has an estimated population of more than 10 lakh, with more than 10 lakh vehicles out of which 70% are private and 30% are public.

Sources in the Dehradun RTO said that in last two years, a number of vehicles in the city run without fitness certified. In addition, old vehicles from Delhi and Punjab that have been declared as scrap by the respective RTOs are also running in the city.

Rural litigation and entitlement kendra (RLEK), a non government organization, said that due to the scarcity of electricity, offices and households are forced to use generators, which is one of the major factors making Dehradun the 5th most polluted cities in the country.

“The most worrisome fact is that on the other side of the eco-sensitive zone, China is developing roads and hydel power projects to develop their area. This can be a potential hazard for the nation’s security in times to come,” said Avdhash Kaushal, chairperson at RLEK

While the Green Peace study has recommended a number of measures, the Dehradun-based Gaiti Foundation has recommended promoting public transport, checking construction activities, burning of garbage and installing monitoring units for real time data collection and analysis.

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 22:25 IST