A recent study undertaken by students of CEPT University,that monitored the ambient air quality of Ahmedabad at 32 locations,shows that at least 15 areas in the city,including its own campus,have suspended particulate matter beyond permissible limits.
Other areas – Nava Vadaj,Kankaria Zoo,Viratnagar,Odhav GIDC,Vatva GIDC,Shahpur,Kubernagar,Dudheshwar,Kalupur,Relief Road,Vadaj Bus Terminal,Lal Darwaza Bus Terminus and Astodia – showed particulate matter below 10 microns. Areas like Andhjan Mandal,CEPT University,Kankaria Zoo,Odhav GIDC,Dharnidhar,Relief Road,Manav Mandir and Astodia have particulate matter beyond permissible levels,sized below 2.5 microns.
The air mapping was done by 17 students,who took a course on Particulate matter: A major component of outdoor air pollution as part of the institutes recently concluded Winter school. They monitored the citys air quality between 9 am-5 pm or 10 am-6 pm during the three weeks between November 18 to December 10 as per the guidelines laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The selected locations were classified under industrial,residential,commercial,sensitive and mixed use based on aerodynamics,population density and commercial activities in the surrounding areas. There was high concentration of air pollution in these places. We covered around 50 per cent of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporations (AMC) wards. Winter is a critical season,as opposed to summer and monsoon,as many types of respiratory illnesses are caused due to various types of pollutants present in the air, said Dipsha Shah,assistant professor at the Faculty of Technology,CEPT University,who conducted the course.
Using standard devices like Respirable Dust Sampler (RDS) and High Volume Air sampler (HVAS),students mapped particulate matter of two types,including dust particles which are less than 10 microns and particles sized up to 2.5 microns that are not visible to the naked eye. High exposure to these particles can lead to brain strokes,lung inflammation,respiratory problems,reduced lung function,chronic bronchitis,lung cancer,asthma,heart attacks and cardiovascular complications.
Shah said,A positive trend witnessed was that while Civil Hospital area in Shahibaug and Sola Civil Hospital,that come under sensitive zones,recorded below standard air pollution levels,places like Kankaria Zoo had higher than standard air concentration owing to the presence of railway warehouse in the vicinity. Even the IIM-A crossroads recorded high pollution levels because of vehicular traffic and the current flyover construction work. Vatva GIDC area recorded higher pollution levels as compared to Odhav and Naroda GIDC area whereas Viratnagar – which has NH-8 running through it – had high concentration of particulate matter owing to vehicular congestion and narrow roads.
Students also mapped the air quality at the breathing zone level in Kalupur crossroads,Astodia,Relief Road and Lal Darwaza areas and recorded pollution levels to be the highest,owing to improper air circulation,tall buildings and lack of green cover.
Based on the results of the air mapping,students observed,It has been reported that around 25,00000 vehicles ply on Ahmedabad roads which contribute air pollutants to the tune of 10737501.56 tonnes per year into the atmosphere. It has been estimated that 70 to 80 per cent of the total air pollution in Ahmedabad is attributed to automobiles.