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Thursday, June 17, 2021

In Pune, increase of 70% in PM2.5, 61% in PM10 in seven years: Report

Pune emission inventory report released, maps local sources of pollution in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: May 22, 2021 2:15:56 pm
Pune emissions, Pune pollution, Pune AQI, Puen weather, Pune emission report, Pune news, Indian expressThe air quality of Pune is mainly regulated by particulate pollutants (PM2.5 and PM10). (File)

A comparison of an emission inventory of 2012-2013 with the current year’s (2019-20) inventory in Pune Metropolitan Region (PMR) suggests a significant increase in Pune’s overall emission load over the years.

The Pune emission inventory report, meant to understand the contribution of various sources of emissions in Pune air quality, has been released by Prof. Nitin Kalmarkar, Vice-Chancellor of SPPU.

The report maps pollution sources in each 400m x 400m grid of Pune Metropolitan Region for major pollutants, namely PM2.5, PM10, NOx, CO, SO2, BC, HC.

The report has been released in presence of Director, IITM, Prof. Ravi Nanjundiah, lead author Prof. Gufran Beig, Founder Project Director, SAFAR, and Dr. B.S. Murthy of IITM and Prof. Gosavi, Head, Environment Science Department, SPPU

The air quality of Pune is mainly regulated by particulate pollutants (PM2.5 and PM10). A significant growth in the emissions of particulate pollutants has been observed during the past seven years, the report has said.

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Dr Gufran Beig, lead author of the report, told The Indian Express that an increase of 70% and 61% is found in PM2.5 and PM10, respectively, from 2012-13 to 2019-20. There has been an enormous growth in the number of vehicles in PMR during the past decade. The transportation sector is found to be the major contributor in PM2.5 emissions as compared to the rest of the sources.

Though industrial production has increased over the years, emissions show a minimal rise as compared to other sectors. This might be due to the improved fuel quality used in units, efficient technological innovations and stringent enforcement of standards, according to the report. Similarly, a significant increase is observed in the emissions of Organic Carbon (81.3%), NOx (72.8%), and VOCs (69.8%). Sulfur dioxide emissions show a 30.2% increase, lowest amongst the eight pollutants considered in this work.

The emission estimates in such high resolution by SAFAR are likely to serve as an essential information base for scientists, policymakers and the NCAP programme of CPCB. This report also provides the rate of change in anthropogenic emissions of atmospheric constituents during the past seven years.

However, regarding the concentration of pollution in some areas, for instance, there has been no increasing or decreasing trend, says the report. For instance, at the university circle, although the number of vehicles has doubled but surprisingly the level of pollution has not shown any increasing or decreasing trend in the last seven years as compared to 2012-13. This is because during the intervening years there has been a growth of bridges and flow of vehicles has been regularised, Dr Beig said.

The emission inventory campaign has been led by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences along with SPPU, Pune and under expert Advice of Prof. Saroj Kumar Sahu of Utkal University. Geographical Information System (GIS)- based statistical emission model developed by scientists of IITM is used to develop fine resolution of 400m gridded products.

A six-month long emission inventory campaign involving more than 200 students from IITM, SPPU and Utkal University was carried out during 2019-20 in Pune Metropolitan region, including Pune, Pimpri and Chinchwad regions, with around 2,50,000 hours of work. This exercise was to collect real time primary activity data of 26 different local sources of air pollution.

The click counters, low volume samplers and various survey forms were used to get activity accounting. This exercise was earlier done in 2012-13 at the advent of the SAFAR system with a resolution of 1km. Since then, significant changes have occurred in land use and demography and many new sources, which were earlier ignored, have now been quantified. Emission inventory is a scientific way to identify aggregated local source contributions and their region specific spatial distribution within a confined boundary like PMR.

The focus of the present campaign was more towards various small sectors/factors like condition of road, pattern of transport flow from surrounding regions, fast moving-slow moving-stagnant traffic scenario, uninformed sector, construction activity, aviation, practices by immigrant works, hospital rush and vehicles from outside state, changing lifestyles/cooking habits.

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