Alarming increase in pollution in Hyderabad
Hyderabad: Particulate matter pollution has risen almost three times faster than previously expected in Hyderabad.
Though faring better than cities like Delhi, where particulate matter pollution has risen by an astronomical four times, the rise in the city is still among the highest in the world.
The average annual concentrations of finer particulate matter even rose to levels same as that of Beijing in China, once considered the most polluted in the world. The rise in pollution in the city has already breached the national pollution standards set by the government.
Data released earlier by the World Health Organisation had said that Delhi was the most polluted city in the world. A recent study conducted by experts from leading research organisation King’s College, London, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Health Effects Institute and WHO compared estimated and actual measured levels of pollution in mega cities of the world, which have high population density.
Pollution estimates were based on the prevailing conditions about four years ago and the steps initiated to curtail pollution levels. But, those measures have obviously failed to help as particulate matter levels of 2.5 microns rose by nearly three in the city.
Average annual monitored level of PM2.5 this year in Hyderabad was found to be 58 micrograms per cubic metre, almost same as Bengaluru, but much higher than cities like New York, London or even Beijing. PM2.5 level in Hyderabad was estimated to be about 21 micrograms per cubic metre.
During the same period, cities like Shanghai and Beijing cut down the expected increase in particulate pollution levels by more than half.
“Many cities are evidently pursuing the line of development, with little or insufficient attention being paid to the air quality and residents’ health,” researchers of the study said. Anumita Roychowdhury of the Centre for Science and Environment said pollution levels in many parts of the city were worse.