Toxic air pollution in Dimapur

Dimapur, March 10 (MExN): Concluding that the air quality of Dimapur city and its satellite towns is a growing concern, the Nagaland Pollution Control Board has release a report on Status of Air Quality of Dimapur during the year 2010.
Nagaland Pollution Control Board (NPCB) had been monitoring the Air Quality of the Dimapur city for several years of four air pollutants viz., Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Oxides of Nitrogen as NO2, Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM). “ The air is clean during monsoon season when there is rain however, during winter months the air becomes polluted and it is now crossing the permissible limits,” according to the report issued by Rusovil John Member Secretary of NPCB.
 The air monitoring stations in Dimapur i.e. Dhobinala (code no. 448) and Bank colony (code no. 317) shows that during winter/dry months the air pollution goes up. Basing on the records, the average concentration of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) was found to be highest in the month of December in both the stations. Dhobinala with an RSPM value of 168 ugm/m3 and Bank Colony with 151 ug/m3 and is lowest in the month of August with 32 ug/m3. The National Standards for RSPM is 100 ugm/m3. The average concentration of Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) was found to be highest in the month of December with 276 ug/m3.  The National Standards for SPM is 200 ugm/m3.
NPCB study warns risk of respiratory illnesses
The main causes for the increase of particulate matter in the dry season is because of the dust- from stone crushers, bad roads, constructions works etc., vehicular emissions, burning of wastes, construction and commercial activities. “Air pollution has become very grave that people are seen roaming with their mouth and nose covered with handkerchiefs these days. The worst effected may be those people exposed to the dust and smoke the  whole day such as the people living near the busy roads and the traffic police in the junctions,” the report stated.
Long-term exposure to air pollutants increases the risk of respiratory illnesses such as allergies, asthma, cold, cough, sinusitis, tonsillitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of fine particles (dust), and other airborne toxicants.
The report suggests some mitigation measures to reduce air pollution in Dimapur and its satellite towns. Measures should be taken from all ends starting from every household, business establishment, Institutions, Industries etc.  No polluting industries should be allowed within the towns and villages. Existing industries located within residential area to be closed or relocated to earmarked industrial areas. Urban planning with focus on environmental issues; Vehicles should be kept pollution under control in both gaseous as well as noise. Phasing out of grossly polluting vehicles; Curbing fuel adulteration; Roads should be improved to reduce dust; Better traffic management to reduce congestion and emission; Clean/new technologies which are environment friendly should be preferred; Trees are a great barrier to reduce air pollution; they act as the buffer zone. Therefore, trees have to be planted and existing trees protected; Waste should not be burnt; as it contributes to particulate matters, smoke, CO2 and other gases which are harmful to health and deteriorate the environment and more awareness programmes should be conducted on the subject and its impacts on human and our environment.