Vehicular growth limiting breathing space

Sales of 12 vehicles a day spurring pollution in city

Peter Chachei
Dimapur | March 5

WITH THE increase in the number of automobiles in the commercial hub of Nagaland, air pollution has moderately increased. With pollution emitted from the vehicle exhaust contributing to an acute increase in air pollution, steps to bring down automobile pollution in the city has yet to take a visible form. 

During the last financial year, 2838 vehicles were registered in the office of the District Transport Officer, Dimapur. However, these numbers do not portray the right picture as a large number of vehicles registered in other districts are also plying on the streets of Dimapur.  During the last two months of January and February alone, 400 and 302 vehicles were registered respectively. It is calculated that around 12 vehicles per day and 300 vehicles per month of new vehicles is registered at an average in the city, said a transport officer. 

Vehicles registered during the last two years  include 3066 private light motor vehicles, 128 taxis, 90 passenger buses, 1120 heavy goods carrying vehicles, 3994 two-wheelers, and 1198 auto-rickshaws.  It is also widely believed that a gargantuan amount of stolen vehicles are travelling across Dimapur roads.   Automobile exhausts emit particulate matter, un-burnt hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and some carcinogenic organic compounds like benzene and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. All of these chemicals have adverse effect on the health of the people. Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) which causes Asthma and respiratory related disease and prolong exposure to it can cause lung cancer.

For monitoring air pollution in the city, the recently upgraded Pollution Control Board has set up two stations at Burma Camp and Dhobinala. On an average, studies say, Dimapur fares below the permissible limit of Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and RSPM, the air pollutants which are not gaseous in nature. (see graph)    

The rate of pollution contributed by automobiles in Dimapur unlike other metropolitan cities is moderate, according to a junior scientist working with the Nagaland Pollution Control Board. But with the increase in the number of vehicles it is expected to cross the national standard level soon.