Nagpur city’s air quality updated on Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website on Wednesday is ‘moderate’ that is it might cause breathing discomfort to people with lungs, asthma, and heart disease.
Nagpur’s air quality has been fluctuating for quite some time and has ranged from moderate to poor to very poor.
The air quality index is a measure of various types of gases and particles present in the air. These include carbon monoxide, methane, sulphur dioxide, oxide nitrogen, lead, and Particulate Matter or PM 10 & 2.5.
Basically, PM 10 and 2.5 are the very main culprit for the bad air quality in Nagpur city. Particulate matter contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems.
Kaustav Chatterjee, founder of Green Vigil Foundation in conversation with The Live Nagpur elaborated on the reasons for the fluctuations in the air quality and necessary measures that can be taken by the citizens to improvise the quality. He said “The very main reason for the rise in pollution of the city is the PM 10 & 2.5. There are mainly three reasons that are contributing to PM namely:
1. Nagpur being a developing city, the dust and dirt particles generated from the construction of roads, metro, new buildings, etc are contributing majorly to PM 10 & 2.5 levels. Construction of new buildings is the major contribution considering the city increasing vertically.
2. During the winter season, temperature inversion takes place that is the pollutants are trapped in the local area or in one place and do not get dispersed. This is one of the main reasons for air quality.
3. Garbage burning, during the winter season, the security guards, and people outside their homes (bungalows) burn various substances in order to create warm surroundings, which is extremely harmful to the environment. People use plastic, wood, or even burn garbage.
At present, CPCB has been calculating the city’s air quality index (AQI) based on data from only one station at Civil Lines, which is one of the least congested areas of the city. Imagine the condition of Mahal, Godhani, MIDC, and other areas.
Nagpur city has a total of 8 measuring stations at the Divisional Commissioner Office, Sadar, Shankar Nagar, and Hingna Road out of which 3 are very near within the radius of 2 km of civil lines. Four more stations have been started around 6 months ago which are situated at VNIT, LIT, Mahal, and GMC town hall.
The stations should be spread out very widely throughout the city, particularly in congested and factory-oriented areas.
Citizens should take more precautionary measures to control or limit the air quality by the following measures:
1. Tree plantation
2. Vehicle imitations that they should turn their vehicle off on signals.
3. Car-pooling, meaning the people going to the same place can go collectively.
4. Adopt green living practices
5. Construction sites should be covered while working with all the possible amenities.
6. Reduction in the use of electricity as and when possible.
The use of electricity should be minimalized as far as possible as it majorly contributes to the big thermal power plants which are very big polluters. Nagpur being centrally located geographically, use of solar energy can be done on a very large scale.”
Kaustav concluded by saying “It’s not the time for awareness, its’ time for the people to change their thought process.”