Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mysore to get permanent Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station

Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has proposed to set up a permanent Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station in Mysore to monitor air quality round-the-clock. Once the Mysore City Corporation gives its approval, it will be installed near the Town Hall. The proposed Station will be similar to the one already set up in the Majestic area in Bangalore.
People’s participation plays a major role in protecting and conserving the environment, says K. Raju Thylur, Deputy Environmental Officer of KSPCB in Mysore.
"Mysore, a heritage city, is facing a technology boom since few decades, resulting in increa-sing population, vehicles and industries. The city is developing rapidly these days as more new private and MUDA approved layouts and apartments are coming up. Earlier it was not so. There were not many high-rise buildings and the pollution level was also under control," he adds.
The existing infrastructure is not able to meet the growing demand. This has resulted in traffic congestion, increase in drinking water demand, waste water discharge as well as health damaging pollutants. It is observed that pollution is more during Deepavali.
The quantity of sewage generated in the city has doubled compared to what it was a few decades ago. The stagnation of sewage in open areas and also the release of the sewage into the lakes are harming city's environment.
Today, Mysore city generates 350 tones of municipal solid waste, which was 250 tons a few years ago. It is high time that people segregate the daily generated wastes at the source itself before handing it over to the Corporation garbage collectors. Municipal solid wastes are of two types — Bio-degradable (organic matters like vegetable wastes and left-over food) and non-bio degradable (plastics, glass and other materials). If this is practis-ed, it will be quite helpful for the City Corporation to dispose of the solid wastes in accordance with the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules.
Bio-medical waste is the other major environmental problem. Government and private hospitals should dispose the waste properly, but some hospitals dispose the bio-medical wastes like syringes, used glucose bottles, bandages, cotton swabs, out-dated medicines directly outside, in the open garbage. This is a dangerous practice as this will get easily mixed with the regular domestic wastes which are picked by the rag-pickers.
Even traffic signal lights too cause air pollution. Whenever the vehicles stop at the traffic signals, majority of the drivers press the accelerator to keep the engine running, emitting more smoke from the vehicles resulting in increasing air pollution. Changing of traffic lights should be managed scientifically; the waiting time at the traffic signals should be reduced so that vehicles can pass without waiting for a second signal.
The subways, work on which is underway, will also ease the traffic problem. All these will result in a smooth flow of traffic, thereby minimising air pollution, Raju added.
KSPCB is conducting regular awareness programmes in schools, colleges, NSS camps, and in industries to educate the public on keeping a check on pollution. During awareness campaigns, people are provided with more information related to safe disposal of all types of wastes, environmental rules and regulations, role of public to protect environment and pollution levels in the city.
KSPCB also conducts the monitoring of ambient air in city every month for 24 hours twice a week. There are two conventional ambient air quality monitoring centers in Mysore — one located at K.R.Circle and the other at Hebbal, an industrial area. The K.R. Circle unit measures the pollution level caused by vehicular traffic while the one at Hebbal measures industrial pollution.
How it works
These monitoring centers measure the amount of suspended particles in the air like Respirable Suspended Particulate (RSP) Concentration and Total Suspended Particles (TSP) whether it is above or below the ambient levels. They also measure toxic fumes emitted from vehicles like Sulphur dioxide, Nitrous Oxide, Carbon dioxide and Carbon monoxide. This constant display of air quality will create awareness among the public.
The parameters will be analysed for particulate matter (PM), SO2 & NOx, the results will be compared with National Ambient Air Quality Standards and submitted to the Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi.
Annual Results observed at KR Circle (vehicle pollution*)
Year SO2 Nox RSPM SPM Standard 60 60 60 140
2004-05 11 20 51 91
2005-06 22 34 52 92
2006-07 16 22 48 93
2007-08 14 19 46 85
Annual Results observed at Hebbal (Industries)
Standard 80 80 80 360
2004-05 11 21 45 80
2005-06 21 34 41 76
2006-07 15 23 39 81
2007-08 13 19 38 76
* Figures are in micrograms per cubic metre.

[Friday 26th June 2009]

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