Winter traps pollutants, pollution levels double in cold weather
With temperatures dropping at alarming levels, children and the aged are facing the brunt of air pollution. It is a well known fact that the air pollution levels in the city crossed the permissible limits of the standard 60 micrograms/cubic meter long time back but what is troubling denizens is that health problems increase during winter as pollutants get trapped in cold weather leading to rise in air pollution.
P Veeranna, scientific officer of TSPCB, said, “When the temperatures are high, the pollution density lessens which allows the pollutants to rise. In winter, it is the other way round and pollutants remain at the respirable level.” The total suspended particulate matter in the city is close to 200 as against the standard 100 micro grams/cubic meter. The ammonia content has crossed standard permissible limits at various places in the city. Paradise Circle, Punjagutta, Charminar, Kukatpally and Jeedimetla have the highest PM 10 content.
With 700 new vehicles added to the roads every day, the pollution levels are only going to rise, avers Suguna, a social scientist. The most vulnerable groups who get affected by the rise in pollution are police personnel, traders, businessman and urchins who stay put at various crossroads in the city.