Page 9 - Breathing Cleaner Air - Ten Scalable Solutions for Indian Cities
P. 9
5 Clean Air Mission for India - Ten Solutions

transportation, and industrial pollution control are the with growing coal power generation activities (IEA, 2016;
major factors responsible for decline in PM10 levels. Sharma and Kumar, 2016). Gargava and Rajagopalan
(2015) have reported contributions of many sources in
In spite of these policies, air pollution has remained a PM levels observed in Indian cities.
significant problem due to both the rapid development
pathway of the country and its large population of Ozone is limitedly monitored in India, but simulation-
about 1.3 billion. The National Air Quality Monitoring based studies suggest high concentrations in certain
Programme (NAMP) set up 629 stations in 264 cities/ regions (Sharma et al., 2016). This suggests that
towns, across the country, to regularly monitor PM10, particulate matter (PM) and ozone are the two most
NOx, and SO2. The data suggests that about 80% of Indian critical pollutants that violate the standards frequently,
cities do not meet the prescribed national standards of often with high values. Moreover, control over these
PM10, while NOx is exceeded in only 8% of cities. With a pollutants will also virtually cover the other pollutants.
growing number of vehicles, NOx concentrations have Notably, like many other countries, Indian standards are
shown an increase in big cities like Delhi (NAMP-CPCB much less stringent than the WHO guidelines, which
data). On a positive note, SO2 concentrations have been suggest health impacts at very low levels of particulate
reduced, and now just 1% of the cities violate the national pollution. The highest levels of pollution in India have
standards (CPCB, 2014). However, sulphates formed from been observed in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP), which
SO2 still make up a major part of PM2.5 concentrations in has a very dense population and is also the most fertile
Delhi. Further, though there has been a decrease in SO2 land in the country. IGP has a share of about 50% in the
concentrations at the city scale (due to reduced sulphur total food grains produced in India and feeds to about
in diesel), overall SO2 emissions in India have increased 40% of the population of the country (Pal et al., 2009).

PM and Ozone Primer

PM includes both primary particles released directly from the source and secondary particulates formed by
conversion of gaseous pollutants like sulphur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and ammonia (NH3) into fine
particles.The prime drivers of severely high levels of pollution in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh are their dense population
bases, presence of high intensity emission sources, and stagnant meteorological conditions conducive to particle
formation and buildup. Other than PM, the IGP region also shows very high levels of ground level ozone, exposing
agricultural crops to severe damages, reducing crop yields. Ozone is a secondary pollutant, formed at the ground
level by the reactions of NOx and VOCs in the presence of sunlight. Controlling PM and ozone would address the
majority of air pollution concerns
   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14