hi INDiA Copyright 2022-2050
Naveen S Garewal
Hyderabad, January 28
Those who thought the two Telugu cities of Hyderabad and Vizag were the cleanest in South India now have reason to rethink. Both the cities have exceeded the limit of air pollutants allowed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), as reported by the latest report of Greenpeace India.
Strangely enough, Hyderabad, despite being landlocked, has hundreds of water bodies and trees to clean up the air. At the same time, Vizag or Vishakhapatnam, as it is also known, is a coastal city on the Bay of Bengal and houses the Eastern Naval Command, one of the three command-level formations of the Indian Navy. But despite all the positives, both Hyderabad and Vizag house lot of industry that is the culprit for unhealthy air here.
Greenpeace India has found 2.5 (PM2.5) particulate matter (solid and liquid particles suspended in air) in both these cities, an increase by 7 to 8 times, while the particulate matter 10 (PM10) has gone up 6 to 7 times.
The report is based on the finding of the NGO in air quality assessment in 10 big southern cities of Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Mangaluru, Mysuru, Puducherry, Coimbatore and Amaravati. Surprisingly, these cities don’t lag far behind metros like Delhi in impacting good health.
The report explains that PM2.5 is a fine particulate matter produced by vehicles, while the dust from construction sites produces PM10. These suspended materials can enter the human lungs during breathing and reach the bloodstream leading to heart and breathing issues.
The report wonders how air pollution has increased despite extended lockdowns due to Covid-19.
Greenpeace India report talks about the annual average PM2.5 values of the ten south Indian cities. It puts the increase at Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Amaravati, and Mangaluru at 6 to 7 times, and Chennai, Kochi, Mysuru and Puducherry at 4 to 5 times.