Dust in Mysuru, but KSPCB says pollution under control

Rising dust in Mysuru, but KSPCB says air pollution is under control

It has become common for the people to use masks to prevent inhaling of dust in Mysuru. Photo for represenation

People in most parts of the city are forced to partially cover their face with masks on the road, due to steady rise in dust. But, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) officials say that the ambient air quality in the city is within the parameters and Mysuru is still a safe place to live.

Mysuru has earned several tags like clean city, palace city and heritage city. But, incomplete road works, thousands of vehicles on the roads, increasing construction activity is not only an eyesore, but is also posing health threats to the people. It has become common for the people to use masks to prevent inhaling of dust.

Speaking to DH, Scientific Officer N Kavitha said, "Dust and air pollution rises during summer and is conspicuous, as the weather is dry and wind speed is more. However, the air quality test conducted by the board is under the category ‘satisfactory’. But, the sensitive people may have minor breathing discomfort."

She explained that the air quality is tested for the presence of oxides in nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and suspended particulate matter and are commonly reported in terms of micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) and parts per million (ppm).

Particulate matter is a term for a mixture of solid and liquid droplets suspended in the air. The air we breathe always contain particle pollution. Some particles like dust, soot or smoke are large enough to be seen with the naked eye.

According to KSPCB, the standards of these contents are Oxides of Nitrogen - 80 micrograms per cubic meter, Sulphur dioxide - 80 micrograms per cubic metre, PM (10) - 100 micrograms per cubic metre, and PM (2.5) 60 micrograms per cubic metre and Ammonia 400 micrograms per cubic metre.

As per the sampling station on KSRTC building at KR Circle, where the number of vehicles and the floating population is more, the Sulphur di-oxide was below detection level (BDL), Ammonia between 10-20, Oxides of Nitrogen 15-20, particulate matter (10) was 50-60 and particulate matter (2.5) 22-30 micrograms per cubic metre.

'Mysuru safe'

This means, the people of the city are safe, compared to cities like Bengaluru, Hubballi, Delhi and others.

Air pollution by vehicles has come down, due to awareness by people buying upgraded vehicles and low emissions.

Construction activities give rise to a lot of dust. For construction and demolition activities, which do not require environmental clearance, the new rules prohibit grinding and cutting of building materials in open area. This rule will be applicable for even private residential buildings, the officer said.

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