Dust pollution in and around Delhi still high

June 2nd, 2009 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) The level of dust particles that damage the lungs continues to be above the standards laid down by the government, a study in five different schools in and around Delhi has found.
The results of the study, carried out in 2002-03 by well-known NGO The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), were unveiled here Tuesday. It showed that levels of poisonous gases carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide had halved in Delhi after use of compressed natural gas (CNG) by public vehicles was made mandatory in 2000.

But the level of air pollution through suspended particulate matter that gets into the respiratory system (RSPM) was still too high in and around Delhi, said the study, adding that levels of oxides of nitrogen - also poisonous - were high in some areas.

TERI researchers found “alarming levels of pollutants were reached on Diwali day, and for days preceding Diwali at all the locations”, the study said, advocating “strong control measures in school zones”.

Overall, levels of oxides of nitrogen had gone up 10 percent, found the study, carried out at schools in Shalimar Bagh (north Delhi), Pusa Road (central Delhi), Chanakyapuri (New Delhi), Saket (south Delhi) and Noida on the outskirts.

The seasonal average concentration of RSPM in all five locations exceeded the permissible value of 100 microgrammes per cubic metre of air, the study found. It said the highest concentration was in Saket, and the lowest in Chanakyapuri.

For city planners, school management, and traffic controllers, the study recommended:

* Improved parking, pick up and drop off zone for children so as to reduce pollutants associated with automobile exhaust and tail pipe emissions

* Dense tree plantation along the roadside to minimise transfer of dust and noise.

* Development of green cover or grass cover hardy enough to tolerate heavy footfall to reduce dust dispersion and suspension.

* Construction and maintenance of paved footpath for pedestrian movement

* Water sprinkling in playing field areas and construction areas to avoid wind driven dust

* Eliminate burning of leaves in the school premise or outside

* Create sense of responsibility to contain pollution during Diwali and special reinforcement of messages prior to Diwali.

* School based activities to transform this information into awareness campaign and action at school campus as well as neighbourhood.

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