Low pollution levels surprises PCB


: Despite round-the-clock construction activities, including the metro rail work in the city, the Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) mostly remained within the limits, taking the State Pollution Control Board officials by surprise.

Though the RSPM showed an increasing trend during the past three years, it showed a decreasing trend in three stations in Ernakulam in 2014.

The RSPM is expected to go up in areas of construction. The RSPM is measured at a height of 3 metres from the floor.

Barring a few occasions, the particulate matter remained well within the permissible limit in Kochi, said M.P. Chandrasekharan, senior environmental scientist of the Board

The water and air quality directory 2014, released by the Board states that the “annual average concentrations of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are never found exceeding the limit values during 2009 to 2014, whereas the RSPM values exceeded the limit value (60 ìg/m3) many times.”

The RSPM values exceeded the limit at 9 stations during 2013 and 8 stations during 2014. In Ernakulam district, the RSPM values exceeded the limit at 4 stations during 2014.

They are at “South (71.02ìg/m3), M.G Road (74.39 ìg/m3), Vyttila (65.82ìg/m3) and Irumpanam (106.64ìg/m3). There is an increasing trend in RSPM concentration during the past three years. But in 2014, there is a decreasing trend in RSPM value at some stations in Ernakulam (Kalamassery, Eloor 1, and Eloor 2) compared to 2013,” the report said.

The “value at Irumpanam is far above the limit value. While in July the average value went to 201.67 ìg/m3 the concentration in the month of December became 18.07 ìg/m3.

It shows a significant change in RSPM values,” according to the report.

The Board proposes to tighten the monitoring in the wake of the latest pollution trends. Weather patterns influence also data. If the readings are taken on a rainy day, the dust might have settled. Hence, the monitoring will be intensified, said Mr. Chandrasekharan.

One of the “reasons for the high value at this station is its proximity to the main road having high level of soil dusts. With respect to RSPM, Ernakulam district stations are found to be more polluted than other stations,” it said.

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Printable version | Jun 28, 2017 6:20:39 AM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/low-pollution-levels-surprises-pcb/article7618197.ece