BENGALURU: As Indian metro cities continue to battle alarming pollution levels, Greenpeace analysis of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) satellite data re-asserts that transport and industrial clusters are the worst hit. Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai are other cities in the list.
In the first sixteen months of Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) NO2 satellite data from February 2018 through May 2019, cities such as Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad which have high vehicular population and usage diesel/oil pumps are the most polluting.
On the other hand in coal consuming and industrial clusters such as Sonbhadra-Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Talcher in Odisha, Chandrapur in Maharashtra, Mundra in Gujarat and Durgapur in West Bengal, were getting choked by nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
According to Karnataka State Pollution Control Board's (KSPCB) own data vehicular emission is the biggest contributor to Bengaluru's spiralling pollution levels.
“Over the past few years, several studies have identified PM2.5, NOx and trioxygen (O3) pollutants having significant impact on human health. These are particularly dangerous air pollutants, causing respiratory illnesses and lung damage with acute exposure. A long-term exposure can increases risk of chronic diseases such as heart attacks and lung cancer,” said Pujarini Sen, Senior Cam-paigner, Greenpeace India.
NO2 contributes to the formation of ozone and PM2.5, two of the most dangerous air pollutants. It is estimated that air pollution (ambient PM2.5 household and ozone air pollution collectively) caused 3.4 million deaths worldwide in 2017 and over 1.2 million are in India. PM2.5 alone resulted in more than 6.7 lakh deaths in India in 2017.
Earlier this year, Air Pollution Global Cities Ran-king Report, released by Greenpeace found that 15 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are located in India, highlighting the country’s air pollution crisis.
In January, Airpocalypse III report by Greenpeace India found 241 cities violating National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
Sen demanded strict and urgent action by the Government and polluting industries. “All sources of NO2, such as transport, industries and power generation should be tackled keeping in view the health emergency India faces today. Source apportionment studies must be used to lay down sectoral targets, and the list of ‘non-attainment cities’ needs to be updated & city-wise target in the National Clean Air Plan.
Emission standard deadlines for coal power plants and industries must be strictly adhered to, even as the industrial and electricity sectors transition to cleaner alternatives for power generation. Every delay is literally costing lives!” the senior campaigner added....