Pollution down after Graphite India wound up

Graphite India

Over the last three months, the pollution level around Graphite India Ltd (GIL) in Whitefield has come down drastically, thanks to permanent cessation of the operations in the company.

Residents in the area have felt the change in pollution levels from close quarters. Until a few months ago, mopping the floor was an hourly affair as they had to clear the black soot emitted from the company’s chimney. The floors need only one round of cleaning per day now.

Many said the health of people in residential spaces and commercial buildings around the company has also improved. Not residents’ health, even the plants and trees on every street have regained their colour as the recent rains have washed away the soot.

The company closed down its operations in February after which the pollution levels considerably came down. Evidently, the data collected from a sensor fixed at GIL junction shows consistent decrease in PM2.5 levels, after February. AirCare, a high-density particulate matter (PM2.5) monitoring network developed by Shiv Shankar, founder of Mapshalli, a non-profit organisation, and others in collaboration with Whitefield Rising Group, monitors PM2.5 levels 24/7 at 14 points in Whitefield.

The PM2.5 level which was 60.4 micro grams per metre cube in February came down to 26.3 micro grams per metre cube now.

“The thick, black soot is not bothering Whitefield residents any more. This is a greatest relief is for the staff of RxDx hospital located right opposite to the company, where patients used to faint because of high pollution,” said Zibi Jamal, WR member. She said that winning the legal battle after fighting for 20 years against the company has boosted the confidence of citizens and they are actually sharing their learnings to other groups and associations in the city.

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