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IITR report reveals air pollution level above permissible limits in the city

Lucknow. A study by Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) reveals that air pollution levels were above permissible limits in the city in both months. This was the situation despite the lockdown and curfew. The ‘assessment of ambient air quality of Lucknow city: pre-monsoon 2021 report’ was released by the CSIR institute. The monitoring of nine locations—four each residential and commercial and one industrial—by IITR found that concentration of fine and superfine pollutants PM10 and PM2.5 was higher than permissible limits, which are 100 micrograms for PM10 and 60 micrograms for PM2.5, set by National Ambient Air Quality Standard. “The mean values of PM10 and PM2.5 concentration in the air recorded at all locations increased by 26% and 16% respectively as compared to last year.

The report also found that Gomtinagar and Chargbagh were the most polluted localities in the city. Among residential areas, a 24-hour high PM10 concentration of 128.7 micrograms per cubic metre of air was recorded in Gomtinagar followed by Indiranagar (124.5), Vikasnagar (117.3) and Aliganj (111.9). Similarly, PM2.5 concentration was highest in Gomtinagar with 68.2 micrograms followed by Indiranagar (67.6), Vikasnagar (62.5) and Aliganj (60.7 micrograms). Among commercial areas, the highest average PM10 concentration of 143.8 micrograms was recorded in Charbagh followed by Alambagh (133.9), Chowk (121.1) and Aminabad (109.8 micrograms). Similarly, PM2.5 concentration was also highest in Charbagh, with 71.1 followed by Alambagh (64.5), Chowk (62.5) and Aminabad (62 micrograms). The industrial area of Amausi also recorded high PM10 and PM2.5 values of 152.5 and 61.5 micrograms respectively.

The report said that the concentration of gaseous pollutants, SO2 and NO2, was well below the prescribed NAAQS limit (80mcg/m3) at all locations, but higher in comparison to last year.

According to the report, the reason for these pollution levels is that while many preferred to stay indoors, vehicles continued to ply to provide health services. There was also a mad rush of people for hospital care, besides increase in crematorium fires due to surge in Covid-19 deaths. Other major contributors include domestic cooking, baking/firing in hotels, crop combustion and some industries which were operating.

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