Gurgaon air ‘deadly’ but can be fixed, says Centre for Science and Environment report
As per a report released on challenges staring at Gurgaon and possible solutions prepared by the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Gurgaon First – under the aegis of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, the city is experiencing poor air quality because of large scale usage of diesel generators, dirty fuel, large scale construction and losing green areas.
The report titled ‘Gurugram: A framework for sustainable development’ was released on Thursday ahead of the upcoming World Environment Day on June 5. For the last six months, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has marked the city’s air quality as poor. To address the issue, an environment conclave was organised in the city on Thursday.
Out of all the pollutants, the suspended particulate matter (PM) 2.5 has been way above the permissible limit, which is 60 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³). PM2.5 is particulate matter 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter and is a major component of what constitutes air pollution. These are very fine particles and can reside in the lungs and aggravate asthma or respiratory conditions. The elderly and children are most vulnerable to adverse effects on health caused by PM2.5.
According to a study conducted by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), every third child in Delhi has reduced lung function and their sputum contains four times more iron-laden macrophages than those from cleaner environments, said the report.
During the discussion at the conclave, it was concluded that the city should focus on vehicular emission standard and energy efficiency to reduce air pollution.
“It is time that we should move towards solar power and reduce our dependency on diesel. At present 61% of all energy used in the city is from diesel which is a major source of air pollution,” said Vibhor Jain, Altanta Healthcare, an air quality management company.
The panelists agreed that growing dependence on personal vehicles is a major reason behind the city’s poor air quality. The number of people using public transport for their daily transportation is 17 % and about 50,000 vehicles are added on city’s roads every year, noted the study done by CSE.
“The number of cars entering Gurgaon from Delhi daily is more than three times the number of cars registered in Gurgaon in 2015. Nearly 900 trucks cross the city every day,” said Dr Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy and head of the air pollution and clean transportation programme, CSE.
The environmentalists also pointed out that there is a need for more study on this issue to get a clear picture of the situation.
Similarly, Bhawani Shankar Tripathi, founding member, Mission Gurgaon Development, said, “There are no local health studies in the city to connect to public health with air pollution levels.”