Charbagh has emerged as the most polluted area in Lucknow, according to a bi-annual report released by Indian Institute of Toxicology Research Thursday on World Environment Day.
According to the report by the Lucknow agency, based on findings of April-May this year in nine locations of the state capital, Charbagh had the highest average level of Respirable Particulate Matter (RSPM) and Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and second highest level of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) among all the monitored locations; it also had the worst night time noise levels.
As per the the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the prescribed permissible limit of RSPM is 100 micrograms per cubic metre. However, the average at almost all the locations was about twice that limit. Among the four residential locations which were monitored, Gomti Nagar had the highest concentration of RSPM at 259.5 micrograms per cubic metre. Amausi industrial area had RSPM concentration at 217.3 micrograms per cubic metre while it was found to be 274.5 micrograms per cubic metre in Charbagh.
Among the residential locations, Indira Nagar had the highest concentration of Sulphur Dioxide at 21.0 micrograms per cubic metre. Overall, Alambagh was the worst offender with 25.1 micrograms per cubic metre of Sulphur Dioxide while Charbagh had the worst average level of Oxides of Nitrogen at 61.5 micrograms per cubic metre. Levels of Sulphur Dioxide and Oxides of Nitrogen in all locations was well below the NAAQS prescribed limit of 80 micrograms per cubic metre but showed an increasing trend compared to last year.
Indira Nagar also had the highest day and night time noise levels among the residential locations at 69.5 decibels and 61.7 decibels, respectively. The residential locations of Aliganj, Vikas Nagar and Gomti Nagar also exceeded standard day and night time noise level of 55 and 45 decibels.
The day time noise level in Charbagh was 71.8 decibels and night time level was 68.5 decibels. Amausi had the highest day time noise level at 73.2 decibels but it was below the standard 75 decibels for the industrial location.
The report cited the addition of 1,28,217 vehicles on the roads of Lucknow as the chief reason for pollution in the city and called for “emergency attention of the policy makers, researchers and regulatory agencies.” The report also stated that RSPM, which was found to be very high in all locations, as being responsible for several cardiovascular and respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, etc.
Presence of a subsidised public mass transport (such as metro, monorail), improving traffic management, removing encroachments, public awareness programmes, removing pressure horns, restoring footpaths and an increase in parking charges to discourage the use of personal vehicles were some key recommendations made in the report.