Srinagar: The Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) installed at five locations in Srinagar by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) have recorded decreasing air pollution levels in the past four months, though they still remain above normal levels.
As per the data recorded at the five monitoring locations — Rajbagh, Hyderpora, Dalgate, Jehangir Chowk and Soura — the last recorded pollution level was higher by 2 to 12 micrograms per cubic metre at four of the five locations.
The pollution level is monitored after every 24 hours and cumulatively on yearly basis. The level at which air quality is termed toxic is 60 micrograms during 24-hour monitoring and when analysed for one year, the toxic level is 40 micrograms.
As against the daily permissible level of 60 micrograms, the monitoring station at Dalgate has shown 72 micrograms per cubic metre in November, 12 notches above the permissible level. In July, pollution level at Dalgate was 100 micrograms per cubic metre.
Similarly, data recorded at Jehangir Chowk, Soura and Hyderpora monitoring stations revealed air pollution levels higher between 2 and 7 micrograms than the permissible level in November last year.
Rajbagh monitoring station is the only spot where pollution level is under permissible level. A month ago, it was 55 micrograms, 5 notches below the permissible level.
As per the figures, the pollution level in Srinagar has come down significantly in the past four months, with monitoring devices showing decline ranging from 20 to 58 micrograms at all the five locations.
From the highly alarming pollution level of 124.71 micrograms in July at Jehangir Chowk, the pollution level came down to 67.50 micrograms in November.
Also, as against the pollution level of 119.10 micrograms at Soura monitoring station in August, the level fell to 63.44 in November. The other remaining stations witnessed similar trends over the last four months.
The devices installed by the SPCB monitor the ambient air for 8 parameters: Respiratory Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) PM10, PM 2.5, SO2, NOx, NH3, CO, O3 and Benzene.
Installed on July 1 last year, the devices replaced equipment used by SPCB that was ravaged by floods in 2014.
In April 2017, High Court of Jammu & Kashmir had sought the government’s response on the measures suggested by the Pollution Control Board to tackle air pollution in city.
After informing the court that the pollution levels were rising, mostly due to vehicular effluents, the PCB had suggested a number of measures to deal with the problem, including the installation of Air Quality Monitoring Stations.
To control pollution, diesel vehicles older than 25 years have already been phased out following HC order and the ones older than 10 years have to get a six monthly fitness certificate to ply on the roads.