Pune's PM level is higher than permissible limit

ST CORRESPONDENT 
Monday, 10 June 2019

Currently, Savitribai Phule Pune University junction is a hotspot of PM as the almost 30,000 vehicles pass through the junction each day

Pune: City’s Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) was 45 micrograms per metre cube in 2013, however, the PM level is going higher every year and at present, the city’s PM is 55 micrograms per metre cube, which is way higher from its permissible limits, said Dr Gufran Beig, Scientist and Project Director at System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

Beig was speaking at a session on ‘Air Pollution: Way Ahead for Indian Cities’, organised by city-based NGO ‘Sustainability Initiative’ on Thursday. He said that since the PM is calculated annually the permissible (PM2.5) limit is 40 which the city has already crossed. 

“In 2018, around 3,000 to 5,000 vehicles were registered every day in the city. Currently, Savitribai Phule Pune University junction is a hotspot of PM as the almost 30,000 vehicles pass through the junction each day.”

“On average, adults breathe in more than 3,000 gallons of polluted air daily, but if these adults are a runner or sportsmen, they will breathe in 30,000 gallons of polluted air. Pollution is affecting a person’s lungs more than cigarettes,” Beig added. 
Along with Beig, the Director Of Chest Research Foundation, Sundeep Salvi said, “For a car to run on one litre of petrol, it takes 1,700 litres of oxygen for which 8,500 litres of air is needed. A person requires about 10,000 litres of air to live as well. Therefore, oxygen is very vital for humans.”

“Oxygen provides 90 per cent of nutritional energy with just 10 per cent coming from the food we eat and the water we drink. Since India is one of the most polluted countries in the world, air pollution alone can kill people three times more than Tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS and Malaria,” Salvi added. 

Head of Environment Department at Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Mangesh Dighe said, “The ratio of the vehicle per person has increased and reached up to 38,88,690. This figure is also attributed to the increase in sharing of vehicles due to Uber and Ola, and these mobilities are helping keep the air pollution level down by a few percentages at least.”
 

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