Air pollution high in Uttar Pradesh’s unmonitored cities: Report
“Air pollution is not limited to urban areas. As a result of limiting our efforts to cities only, places like Gorakhpur and Mau have become more polluted than cities like Delhi and Lucknow.”
Gorakhpur and Mau have high levels of air pollution but are not monitored for pollutants, according to an environment report.
“The PM 2.5 level in Mau was 342 while in Gorakhpur it was found to be 225. Though the levels are high, these cities are not under continuous monitoring like Lucknow and Noida,” said Ekta Shekhar of the Climate Agenda that prepared the report ‘Air Kills’ which was released here on Monday.
The PM2.5 level is measured in microgram per cubic metre air and the permissible level is 60 as per Indian standards.
The report is based on the air quality data of 14 districts – Ballia, Mau, Ghaziabad, Azamgarh, Kanpur, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Sonbhadra, Allahabad, Mirzapur, Agra, Lucknow, Noida, Moradabad and Shamli.
“We have included some districts where monitoring is done, particularly to compare with districts where there is no monitoring. Districts in both the categories have air pollution,” Ekta said.
“Air pollution is not limited to urban areas. As a result of limiting our efforts to cities only, places like Gorakhpur and Mau have become more polluted than cities like Delhi and Lucknow. Efforts should be made to check pollution in all parts of the state,” she said.
“National Air Quality Monitoring (NAAQM) network is in place only in seven cities of Uttar Pradesh while 90% of the state’s population remains unmonitored,” she said, adding it was unjust that the general public was still struggling to breathe clean air.
Members of Clean Agenda have decided to share the report with the ministry of forest and environment and demand expansion of air quality monitoring facilities in all the districts.
“Garbage burning and heavy diesel consumption is polluting environment in UP. Diesel gensets, uncontrolled construction activities, dusty roads, chemical fertilisers and pesticides used in agriculture are increasing pollution,” she said.