The first trends in mobile air quality monitoring, launched at 74 spots during phase II of the odd-even scheme, show wide variations in particulate matter values inside and outside the border areas on Friday.
As per data released by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, border areas in east and northeast Delhi recorded the highest particulate matter compared to other borders.
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At the Noida border, PM 2.5 and PM 10 values were recorded at 199 and 399 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) respectively. However the values of particulates about 2 km inside Delhi were considerably higher – 424 and 894 µg/m3. The values 2 km outside Delhi and further into Noida were recorded at 247 and 518 µg/m3.
But at other borders, PM levels were higher inside the NCR states than at the borders or areas in the vicinity inside Delhi. At Anand Vihar — usually identified as one of the most polluted borders due to its vicinity to the bus terminal, the Ghazipur landfill and industrial units — PM 2.5 and PM 10 were recorded at 81 and 167.
In areas inside Delhi in the same area, PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels were recorded at 52 and 104 µg/m3. In areas inside Ghaziabad at the border, the same pollutants stood at 70 and 141 µg/m3. At the Ghazipur border, where PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels were recorded at 75 and 153, the levels inside Delhi in the area were at 57 and 113. In areas outside Delhi, the levels stood at 126 and 259.
Particulate levels at borders in south Delhi were considerably lower. At the Gurgaon border, PM 2.5 and PM 10 was 39 and 73. On the Delhi side of the border, levels of the same pollutants were recorded at 28 and 49 micrograms per cubic metre. At areas inside Gurgaon near the border, levels were at 43 and 85. At northwest Delhi’s Tikri border, PM 10 values at the border, inside and outside Delhi stood at 80, 75 and 137.
Monitoring along the Ring Road through data captured from the mobile monitoring van showed that areas near many public hospitals recorded high particulate levels. AIIMS recorded PM 10 at 179 and PM 2.5 at 63. At Maulana Azad Medical College, PM 10 and PM 2.5 were recorded at 225 and 27. The mobile van is monitoring 15 areas on the Ring Road every day between 8 am and 8 pm.
Areas in central Delhi recorded particulates within the range of safe limits for most areas. Scientists cautioned that this could be due to the lower number of vehicles on the roads Friday, which was a public holiday. Among these areas, Lodhi Colony and Race Course Road recorded comparatively higher particulates. PM 10 at these areas stood at 253 and 316.
Anumita Roychowdhury from Centre for Science and Environment said such a short-term analysis of air quality data could not serve to show the impact of the scheme. She added that data from portable machines in different areas could serve as an indication of “local pollutant factors”.