Areas with diesel generators more polluted: Study
The study shows that in societies where diesel generators sets were operated for several hours a day, PM2.5 and PM10 increased by 30% and 50-100% compared to levels before their operation.Updated: Jun 27, 2018 17:24 IST
Levels of dangerous particulate matter — PM2.5 and PM10 — rise by 30% to 100% in localities where diesel generator sets are operated, says a new study by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
These tiny particulates can penetrate deep into the lungs and are a major cause of life threatening diseases such as stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic and acute respiratory syndromes such as asthma.
“DG sets are most widely used for power backup during electricity cuts, causing a huge spike in air pollution levels in the local surroundings,” says the CSE tudy, Pollution in residential societies from DG sets.
The study shows that in societies where DG sets were operated for several hours a day, PM2.5 and PM10 increased by 30% and 50-100% compared to levels before their operation. When DG usage exceeded eight hours, the particulate matter levels were persistently high throughout the day – on an average PM2.5 and PM10 levels were 130 and 300; peak PM2.5 and PM10 levels were 300 and 1900 respectively.
As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the safe limit for PM2.5 is 60 ug/m3 and for PM10 is 100 ug/m3.
In a three-part series on the power scenario in Gurugram this month, Hindustan Times had reported that several condominiums, residential societies and shopping complexes in the city depend on diesel generators for power backup as average cuts in summer extend up to six to seven hours. During peak summer, 1500 DG sets in the city burn around 50,000 litres of diesel power hour, pushing life-threatening pollutants in the city air.
Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE said, “Diesel generator use in societies is causing an alarming increase in pollution levels with spikes of up to 15 times the safe levels.”
JB Sharma, regional manager, Haryana state pollution control board, Gurugram, said, “We have not seen CSE report so it is not appropriate for us to comment.” However, environmentalists in the city said that there are around 2,500-3,000 DGs operating across the city.
The environmental advocacy group, in a separate report titled, GOING SOLAR: Action Plan to Tap Gurugram’s Solar Rooftop Potential 2018, said despite a huge potential for solar rooftop systems, it remained underutilised.
“The Haryana government’s mandate requires large commercial and industrial entities to install solar panel that unfortunately is less than 5% so far. The survey shows lack of oversight and limited resources dedicated to implementation in various government bodies hampering growth,” the study mentioned.
Gurugram’s SRT potential is as high as 800MW (based on the Master Plan). The city should target 200 MW of solar rooftop by 2022, the study said.
“Given that the government itself had announced regulations to promote SRTs, it needs to make concerted efforts to enforce its mandate and encourage installation in residential societies,” Bhushan said.
Rameshwar Singh, District Officer, HAREDA, said lack of manpower has affected coordination, monitoring and awareness building efforts.
First Published: Jun 27, 2018 17:23 IST