Bengaluru’s pollution levels higher than WHO standards: Greenpeace report
The grim report comes at a time when people residing in Indian cities are increasingly preferring private vehicles to avoid the possibility of contracting Covid- 19 on public transport
BENGALURU: All 10 air quality monitoring stations in the city of Bengaluru have recorded pollution higher than World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, environmental advocacy group Greenpeace has revealed in a grim report.
The report underlined cities across India are breathing polluted air and that pollution is not limited to north Indian cities. “India’s report Airpocalypse IV highlighted that more than 80% of cities/towns had PM10 levels exceeding the 60µg/m3 limits for PM10 prescribed under National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) by CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board).”
It referred to the annual average values of PM 2.5 and PM 10 at all Bengaluru’s locations and added they are higher than WHO revised standards. “Apart from that, all the stations PM 2.5 values are within the NAAQS standards, and eight stations PM 10 values are higher than NAAQS standards,” said the report titled “Are cities in South India breathing safe air?”
The report comes when people in cities are preferring private vehicles to avoid the possibility of contracting Covid- 19 in public transport. It added despite the repeated lockdown on account of the pandemic, the annual average values of PM2.5 and PM10 of all studied 10 south Indian cities exceeded the WHO’s revised standards.
With over 12 million population, Bengaluru has nearly 10 million vehicles in an area of around 800 square km. Bad roads, poor planning, and increasing private vehicles have led to the rapid degradation in the quality of life in Bengaluru, which was once known as India’s garden city. The vehicular movement is so slow that the city gained global notoriety when it was adjudged to have the world’s worst traffic, according to a report by the Netherlands-based TomTom index.
According to the ninth edition of the Annual Traffic Index by TomTom, a global provider of navigation, traffic, and map products, Bengaluru emerged top of the list beating 415 other cities across 57 countries in 2019.
“Bengaluru takes the top spot this year with drivers in the southern Indian city expecting to spend an average of 71% extra travel time stuck in traffic,” said a TomTom report.
Vehicular emissions are the biggest contributor to air pollution followed by construction in Bengaluru.