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Pune’s falling air quality index cause for alarm

On Tuesday, system of air quality and weather forecasting and research (SAFAR) showed that most areas in the city had ‘satisfactory’ air quality but the air quality at Lohegaon was moderate with high presence of nitrogen dioxide.

pune Updated: Jun 06, 2018 14:41 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,falling air quality index
The quality of air in the city has slipped from the ‘good’ benchmark to ‘satisfactory’ benchmark within a short period of one year. (HT PHOTO )

The air quality in the city has been deteriorating in the last few years, The air quality index(AQI) recorded on Tuesday, on World Environment Day, was found to be 66 while the AQI last year on the same day was 46. This shows that the quality of air in the city has slipped from the ‘good’ benchmark to ‘satisfactory’ benchmark within a short period of one year.

On Tuesday, system of air quality and weather forecasting and research (SAFAR) showed that most areas in the city had ‘satisfactory’ air quality but the air quality at Lohegaon was moderate with high presence of nitrogen dioxide.

The air quality index recorded in Pune last month ranged between 80 and 101. Experts opine that AQI improves after rains as dust particles settle down and they have been proved right. Pune’s AQI was 101 on May 1 and it was recorded at 66 on June 6 after the pre-monsoon showers.

“The rise in air pollutants is mainly due to the rise in the number of vehicles. Nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and sulphur are released by vehicles which add to the pollution,” said Mangesh Deighe, environment officer, Pune Municipal Corporation(PMC).

He added that the even though exhaust from industries contribute to the rise in pollution levels, its impact on Pune is not much as such industries are not located away from the city. “Pune has mainly assembling or service industries which do not release pollutants like sulphur, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. So, the increasing number of vehicles is the real cause,” he said.

Industry experts have suggested the use of alternate fuels like compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquid petroleum gas (LPG) to battle the issue.

First Published: Jun 06, 2018 14:40 IST