Bengaluru: If the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board’s (KSPCB’s) data is anything to go by, it seems the government’s initiative - Less Traffic Day – has a positive impact on pollution in Bengaluru.
According to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), pollution levels — as compared to the previous three Sundays — had reduced by 15 per cent. While the number is impressive, it is a significant reduction from the 26 per cent decrease seen in the first-ever Less Traffic Day on February 11.
Incidentally, the day which was envisaged to encourage public transport had run into trouble on Sunday after metro services were closed till 10.30 a.m.
Comparing values recorded through the day from seven Continuous Online Ambient Air Quality Monitoring stations, KSPCB data shows that on average Particulate Matter (less than 2.5 microns or less than 10 microns — both of which have detrimental health effects) had reduced by 8.5 per cent on Sunday, compared to 24 per cent in the first less traffic day.
At an average PM level of 107 microgrammes per cubic metre of air, the city’s air quality remained worse than the permissible limit of 100 microgrammes per cubic metre.
The biggest decrease of 16 per cent was seen at the city railway station while Hebbal flyover saw an increase in particulate matter pollution of around 13 per cent.
The KSPCB officials said the seeming reduction in the efficacy of the programme could be because of the onset of summer. Unlike the first Less Traffic Day held when the vestiges of winter still clung around in the city, this time, the constant heat of the past few days had increased dust on the streets. “Road dust and burning of garbage may have contributed to higher levels of Particulate Matter pollution,” said B. Nagappa, Scientific Officer.
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