Bengaluru: The quality of air is not good enough to breathe in Bengaluru and, quite worryingly, all the other cities in the country. None of the cities comply with the air quality standards prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), reveals a report by the Greenpeace India.
The information was obtained through online reports and Right To Information applications from State Pollution Control Boards across the country.
Evidence from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) shows that air pollution levels of particle matter 10 are higher than the annual average of 60µg/m3 as prescribed under the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). PM10 levels in the atmosphere in Davanagere, Bengaluru, Tumakuru, Raichur and Hubballi were 109, 119, 118, 87 and 80µg/m3 respectively for 2015-2016.
The Greenpeace report, 'Airpocalypse', that assessed air quality in 168 cities across 24 states and union territories, has pinpointed that use of fossil fuels is one of the main culprits for the deteriorating air quality across the country.
The report highlighted that Karnataka, like many other states, has not complied with the WHO and national ambient air quality standards.
Greenpeace campaigner Sunil Dahiya said, "Air pollution is no more just the problem of Northern India and Delhi. Even Bengaluru and many other urban centers in the South are breathing hazardous levels of pollutants in the air and it's time the people in the South also rise up to the demand and contribute towards their right to clean air. They should move away from the polluting, fossil fuel-based society to a cleaner and greener option of clean energy and transport system.
An aggressive shift from the government and public towards public transport systems is the need of the hour. The other relevant sectors too should be tackled to make the air breathable for us and generations to come."
While Delhi underwent a severe air quality check, it's time for Bengaluru to wake up too. The main source of pollution in the city is the exponential growth in the number of vehicles. Vehicular pollution contributes around 42 per cent to air pollution in the city, he said.