Environment Status Report: More vehicles on Pune roads, pollution levels continue to rise

On the overall assessment in Environment Status Report (ESR), 2015-16, the index has slightly decreased in PMC despite the conservation efforts.

Written by Ajay Khape | Pune | Updated: July 30, 2016 1:33 am
pune pollution, pune traffic, pune roads, pune vehicles, pune air, pune environment, pune news There were 28.70 lakh vehicles registered with RTO in 2014-15 which has increased to 31.07 lakh vehicles in 2015-16.

The pollution levels in the city continue to rise with rapid urbanisation and the city’s environment performance index has shown a decrease for the second consecutive year. On the overall assessment in Environment Status Report (ESR), 2015-16, the index has slightly decreased in PMC despite the conservation efforts. Out of 1,000 marks, the PMC got 707.8 in 2015-16. It was 708 in 2014-15 and 708.3 the previous year.

Increase of vehicles

There were 28.70 lakh vehicles registered with RTO in 2014-15 which has increased to 31.07 lakh vehicles in 2015-16. The maximum increase have been of two-wheelers, followed by family cars. This has resulted in increase in air and sound pollution across the city. The sound pollution in silence zones is as bad as in any other parts of the city.

Pollution levels rise

The pollution of water bodies is at its peak. The nallah and river in the city have seen rise in pollution due to disposal of untreated sewage. The water in the lakes is less polluted, in comparison to the river. However, the PMC is optimistic of checking the water pollution after executing the Rs 1,000-crore project to set up new sewage treatment plants. Air pollution has also increased. The permissible level for particulate matter PM -2.5 (very fine particles) is 40 microgram per cubic metre. However from April 2015 to March 2016, the levels have clearly flouted the permissible mark and even touched 100 at Hadapsar and Katraj. Again decibel levels in the silent zones have flouted the permissible level of 50 dB. The maximum noise levels were recorded at Rajaram bridge and the Ramwadi octroi post at Nagar road.

A watch on diseases

In 2015, 18,567 cases of dogbites were registered with the PMC as against 12,131 in 2014. As per the PMC data, the number of malaria and dengue cases have drastically gone down in 2015 compared to 2014 but there have been rise in Chikungunya cases. The number of people affected with H1N1 virus have increased in 2015 after its drop in 2014 and 2013.

Eco-friendly steps

The report informs about housing properties adopting eco-friendly measures of rainwater and solar energy harvesting and vermicomposting. 55,648 properties have implemented these steps in 2016-17 as against 45,986 in 2015-16. In 2016-17, a total of 1,337 properties started rainwater harvesting projects, taking the total tally to 4,687 properties in comparison to 3,350 in 2015-16 — an increase of 40 per cent. The properties taking up solar energy harvesting increased from 21,170 to 25,196 — an increase of 20 per cent and vermicomposting projects being set up in private properties have also increased by 20 per cent, from 34,898 to 42,188.

Rise in Air Travel

There has been a rise in citizens taking up air travel with 54,99,398 commuters in 2015-16 as against 41,90,509 in 2014-15. There has been increase in those traveling via railway too, with 799.76 lakh in 2015-16 — 2.18 lakh per day. In 2014-15, 2.15 lakh citizens used the railway per day. Those taking state transport also rose slightly with 11.81 crore commuters in 2015-16 as against 11.67 crore in 2014-15.

Rise in constructions

As per the building sanction department of the PMC, it allowed construction of 32,02,856 sq metres in 2015-16, in comparison to 50,32,302 square metres in the previous year. This is 36 per cent drop in the construction area. However, the number of projects sanctioned increased from 3,866 in 2014-15 to 4,511 in 2015-16, indicating the slowdown in the real estate industry resulted in developers going for small size projects.

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