Air pollution is a prominent topic for debate in India, from the last few years. Several studies have been completed so far and some are still going on, where related news is always up.
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Then again, construction activities and vehicular traffic contribute significantly to high concentrations of harmful air pollutants and gases in the Delhi National Capital Regions, according to a new comprehensive study.
World Health Organisation estimated, nearly 4.2 million premature deaths due to air pollution. In India, around 600,000 deaths annually are attributed to air pollution, and some of the world’s highest levels can be found in Delhi city.
A team ushered by Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), gathered and analyzed 4years of pollution data from 12 sites across Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, with the aim to understanding how particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and gases (oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ozone) impact this area of India.
The result showed higher levels of air pollutants in winter months than in summer or monsoon periods, with the exception of ozone levels. The higher level of fine and coarse particulate matter in winter months was associated with fumes from crop burning upwind of Delhi and a likely increase in biomass burning for residential heating because most parts of the region do not have central heating systems
The weather in winters, as in reduced precipitation and low wind speeds play a significant role in raising pollutant levels.
The GCARE team also obtained meteorological data from each station during the study, which allows the examination of wind speeds and the direction of particulate matter. As a result, analysis suggests that local sources of pollution, such as traffic, construction, and domestic heating, influenced pollutant levels more than regional sources (air pollution from long-range traffic).
“It is heartening to see the world come to terms with the fact that the climate change emergency should be at the top of every nation’s agenda – not least India,” said Professor Prashant Kumar, Founding Director of GCARE at the University of Surrey.
The analyzed air pollution data confirms that local sources of pollution having a tremendous impact on air quality in the Delhi region. Kumar added the surrounding regions of Delhi are suffering substantial impacts during winter periods.
“The currently configured network of air pollution monitors does not permit the evaluation of long-range transport between Delhi and the NCR (and vice versa), highlighting a need for well-thought-out planning to expand the current network in the future. It is fair to hypothesize that on the one hand, solutions on a local level can go a long way towards improving air quality in one of the most heavily populated areas of India; on the other hand, there is a need for coordination with surrounding regions for effective control of air pollution sources. Moreover, given the dominance of local sources, efforts to control pollution are needed across the whole year, not just during winters, when the problem reaches its peak.”
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