‘Poor road conditions and fuel adulteration at fault’
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Nov. 23 (EMN): The Nagaland Pollution Control Board (NPCB) has announced that the presence of pollutants or particulate matter dispersion in the air of Dimapur is beyond the permissible limit of National Ambient Quantity Standards.
Talking to Eastern Mirror on Thursday, the NPCB Member Secretary Rusovil John stated that the quality of ambient air was recently monitored at Purana Bazar for 24 hours from Nov. 10 to 11th to assess the air pollution level using two instruments; Respirable Dust Sampler and Fine Particulate Sampler APM 550 MFC.
Respirable Dust Sampler is used for sampling of Particulate Matter (PM10) which refers to the fine particles that are 10 micrometers (pm) or smaller in diameter. Fine Particulate Sampler APM 550 MFC is used for sampling of Particulate Matter PM2.5 which refers to fine particles that are 2.5 micrometers (pm) or smaller in diameter, stated the pollution control board.
It was established that the air pollution resulting from particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) is beyond the permissible limit of National Ambient Quantity Standards as indicated below.
|100 µg/m3 (24 Hourly)|
|60 µg/m3 (24 Hourly)
These instruments, he said were operated to access the pollution level in Purana Bazar area taking into consideration that the area is very polluted due to movement of vehicles in unmaintained dusty road, burning of wood chips by furniture units nearby and burning of waste to name a few.
Under the National Air Monitoring Programme (NAMP) there are four monitoring stations in the state for both commercial and residential areas.
In Dimapur it is currently located in Bank colony and Dhobinalla. In Kohima one station is near NST office and another at the WWII war cemetery. Under this programme four air pollutants, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) are monitored and analysed.
The monitoring of pollutants is carried out for 24 hours (4 hourly sampling for gaseous pollutants (NO2 and SO2) and 8 hourly sampling for particulate matter (RSPM) twice a week, explained John.
Annual average concentration of RSPM in Kohima and Dimapur city
The above concentration of RSPM in Dimapur and Kohima indicates that both the city has crossed the permissible limit of National Ambient Air Quality Standards of 60 ug/m3 making Dimapur the most polluted city followed by Kohima. The NPCB member secretary attributed ‘poor road condition and fuel adulteration’ the root cause of it.
When queried on the situation of other districts, John said such surveys cannot be carried out in other parts of the state because of the shortage of manpower. However, he was of the opinion that the situation though not worse than Dimapur and Kohima, other districts may also be at risk because of the road condition and fuel adulteration.
He also added that there is conflict between industries and private residence especially in Dimapur because of mix inhabitant. Though Dimapur do not have big industries, the mix in locations of the two
increases the risk and so the existing industries should be given a proper guideline, said John.
The municipality should also implement waste management rules by giving proper guideline and order to control the threat of air pollution, opined the member secretary.
Health hazard caused by dust/particulate matters
In a handout that was made available by the NPCB, it stated that air pollution due to dust particles has become a major threat for public health and environment. Recent investigations revealed that the chance of lung cancer is increased due to dust pollution because it directly impact lungs function and in turn causing cardiovascular disease and chronic abnormalities in the respiratory system. It also affects plant and animal life.
Particulate matters are linked to respiratory illnesses and to premature death. Children and the elderly people are more susceptible to dust than others.