Pune did not figure in the list of the 15 most polluted cities in the world, however, there is little to be happy say Pune’s citizens…
A recent global air pollution database released by the WHO (World Health Organisation) states that among the 15 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentrations, 14 of them are Indian states.
Kanpur being the worst with Faridabad, Varanasi, Gaya, Patna and Delhi coming close in the list.
It was a relief to not find Pune in the list but Pune is amongst the most polluted cities of the country, according to guardian minister of Pune, Girish Bapat.
Addressing the media in Nagpur, “The air quality index (AQI) of Pune shows that city’s air quality is deteriorating. Authorities have been directed to immediately reduce sulphur content in diesel. With this, Pune will now be supplied with petrol and diesel of Bharat Stage IV standard. Apart from this, electric vehicles and vehicles driven on CNG would be encouraged, while urban street design and roads are being considered to ensure less air pollution in the city.”
Bapat added, “With rising job opportunities, the influx of people into Pune is rising. With the rising population, the number of vehicles has also gone up. Pune is amongst the most polluted cities of the country.”
Putting his opinion forth on this matter, Mangesh Pradhan, a housing society chairman says that we have come a long way fighting this, but I think, we will soon be going back from where we started.
“I have been witnessing the dawn and dusk of the city and believe me, Pune is nothing like it used to be, even 10 years ago.
Increased migration and the population explosion has lead to vehicular pollution and massive construction both of which signal very tough times ahead for this beautiful city.
“During the monsoons, it is well managed since the particulate matter settles down due to the rains, but throughout the year, the air quality is bad.
It is only recently that we realised that the air here is as bad as smoking 11 cigarettes.
We have taken into account its severity and worked for it, but again with massive felling of trees, metro and under pass construction etc, I dread the times when have to see our nightmare turn into reality,” Pradhan points out.
“I do not believe that Pune not being in the list of the world’s most polluted cities makes it any better” opines Shreyasi Paresh, 27.
“Barring the monsoons, all year round, we still have to cover ourselves and protect from breathing the toxins in the air in the city limits.
Automobile pollution, dust, smoke and other particles are omnipresent and cannot be escaped. The air quality here is definitely better than cities like Delhi or Kanpur, but we still need to be conscious enough to fight the battle and make the city pollution free,” Shreyasi adds.
Pointing out some alternatives to curb this alarming issue, Ashish Chopra, a writer and social worker says that alternate fuels like CNG, LPG can help reduce the presence of particulate matter in the air.
“However, smoke and chemicals released from industries are also a major cause for air pollution but they affect the city air reasonably less as most of the production work happens in the outskirts.
Moreover cutting down on burning of rubber, leaves and other articles, opting for car pools, reducing the use of air conditioners etc can also help, although in a small way,” adds Chopra.
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