KARNATAKA

City to get two air quality monitoring stations

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is planning to install two permanent ambient air quality monitoring stations — at the Town Hall and near Lady Hill Circle — in the City to constantly monitor the levels of air pollution.

Speaking after inaugurating the air pollution control month organised by the Transport Department here, Environment Officer Rajashekhar Puranik said the board did not have permanent monitoring stations as of now. However, it monitors ambient air quality at regular intervals at Baikampady and has found that the pollution levels were within the permissible limits.

Mr. Puranik said vehicular air pollution accounted for about 66 per cent of the total causes — 44 per cent from smoke and 22 per cent from road dust — while industrial air pollution and construction activities accounted for about 14 per cent each each. Industrial pollution levels had come down because of introduction of modern technology as well as moving industrial units away from cities, he said.

The officer said enhanced use of public transport, cycling and car pooling could bring down the number of private vehicles on roads, thereby reducing levels of air pollution.

Since Mangaluru lay on the coastal line, there had been constant air circulation from the west to the east and vice versa, thereby moving pollutants away from the city. Nevertheless, there is a dire need to reduce the levels of air pollution, he said.

Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Mangaluru, Afzal Ahmed Khan, said every month about 2,500 two-wheelers and 800 cars were being added to the existing pool of 2,84,091 two-wheelers and 89,800 cars. In all, 4,39,241 vehicles were registered and in use in his limits, the RTO said.

The air pollution control month is being observed with the aim of creating awareness on air pollution among the people and dissuade them from increasingly using private modes of transport. He said increased air pollution would cause a number of health hazards and urged people to beware of the same.

District Reproductive and Child Health Officer Rukmini said pollution control and awareness measures were part of the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan and one should imbibe those values in one’s daily routine. She said increased air pollution results in several ailment, including cancer, asthma and other serious diseases.

Drive against polluting vehicles by RTO, Mangaluru

Year

Checked

Fine collected (Rs.)

2013-14

1043

2,74,500

2014 (till September)

607

2,30,500



Fine for polluting vehicles:

Two and three-wheelers: Rs. 300

Four-wheelers: Rs. 600

Commercial vehicles: Rs. 800

From October 10, 2014, maximum fine of Rs. 1,000 could be levied on any category of vehicle

Fine for repeated offence: Rs. 2,000

*Source: Transport Department