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Saturday 17 November, 2018, 9:48 pm

No respite from pollution

Hyderabad: The six pollution monitoring stations in the city registered a dramatic 30 per cent rise in pollution levels on Tuesday, after a two day dry spell.

Particulate matter levels were above the permissible level set by the Central Pollution Control Board. This is not good news for the city which is gearing up for Diwali, when Pollution Control Board (PCB) officials say particulate matter will double and make the air severely unhealthy.

Pollution levels on Tuesday in the Gachibowli region showed the average to be around 48 micrograms of Particulate Matter 2.5.

This is the deadliest of pollutants as it can penetrate the lungs and cause cancer and breathing disorders. This was a sharp rise from the October 15 reading of 13 micrograms.

At Sanath Nagar, too, pollution levels grew significantly, from 53 micrograms on October 15, to 83 micrograms on Tuesday. According to CPCB guidelines, the maximum particulate matter that humans can be exposed to without adverse health impact is 60 micrograms.

At 83 micrograms, almost all the residents of the area could suffer from breathing difficulty, and the air quality is categorised as unhealthy.

The Telangana State Pollution Control Board takes the poor air quality seriously as the Diwali festival has barely begun. “The pollution levels in the air has increased because the damping factor that pulled down the pollutants has minimised. The particulate matter is flowing freely and the industrial pollution is not getting washed out,” said P. Veeranna, senior scientist and air laboratory expert with the PCB.

The PCB expects pollution levels to be 100-120 micrograms in the next few days.

A saving grace may be the fact that people have been slow to buy fire crackers because of the heavy rains in the past week, and some of the fervour may be dampened by the fact that the festival days fall midweek.

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