Air quality analysis of 10 cities points out ‘multi-pollutant crisis’ there, claims NGO

Air quality analysis of 10 cities points out ‘multi-pollutant crisis’ there, claims NGO

New Delhi, June 6 (PTI):  An analyis of air quality of 10 state capitals of the country during last winter and in the past two months this summer has showed that they too are in the “dangerous grip” of a multi-pollutant crisis, besides Delhi, a green NGO today claimed.


The analysed data is part of the State of India’s Environment (SoE) in Figures 2018, an annual compendium of environmental statistics put together by Down To Earth magazine, which the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) helps publish.


“Delhi is always in the news for its poor air quality. However, an analysis of the winter (November and December 2017) and summer (April-May 27, 2018) air quality levels of 10 state capital cities shows that they too are in the dangerous grip of a multi-pollutant crisis, and are currently facing a severe health challenge,” the CSE claimed in a statement today.


While in the summer months, Delhi had “65 per cent days” when poor and very poor air quality was recorded, in winters this percentage increased to 85. On only “about 1 per cent” of the monitored days in summer months was the air quality observed to be satisfactory in the city, it said.


“Lucknow fared much worse in the winter months, where very poor air quality was recorded on over 70 per cent of the monitored days and severe levels of air pollution witnessed on around 24 per cent of the days. Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru and Chennai, on the other hand, experienced comparatively better air quality,” the statement said.


Anumita Roy chowdhury, who has headed the CSE’s air pollution control team for many years, said, “The SoE in Figures finds a lack of data on air quality in several Indian cities. Even in places where pollution levels are being monitored, gaps in data pose a serious challenge to successful implementation of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).”


Besides, state of air, other categories of the data include state of water, sanitation, energy, forests, and environmental crimes.


“The dependency on groundwater has increased between 2004 and 2013. The SoE in Figures says that 70,736 rural habitats with a combined population of 47.4 million live on contaminated groundwater. Traces of new contaminants are now being reported in the country, suggesting a steady decline in the quality of groundwater,” claimed Suresh Rohilla, the head of CSE’s water management team.