The first three days of the New Year is expected to see the worst air quality, especially in the areas of Shivajinagar to Mhasoba Gate, where there will be enough traffic jams. This was the reading given by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), which issues the air quality at various places in the city.
With the fall in temperature, increase in moisture and overall increase of traffic in certain areas, air quality is deteriorating and will slowly deteriorate further in the next three days, according to SAFAR.
“The overall air quality of Pune city on the first day of 2016 is predicted to be ‘moderate’ range with a lead pollutant PM2.5 (86microgram/m3 ), which is deadliest among all criteria pollutants, this time. The threshold level of PM2.5 is 60 µg/m3. The first 3 days of 2016 will witness the worst spell of the winter season when the level will be at the edge of poor category (85 to 93µg/m3). The poor category starts from 90,’’ states lead scientist of SAFAR Dr Gufran Beig.
Even as these areas will see moderate range, air quality in quite a few locations within Pune are likely to deteriorate further with increased air pollution. The area stretching from Shivajinagar to Mhasoba gate will have the worst air quality with135 microgram/m3, making it in the very poor range. The other two areas among the 10 SAFAR locations with poor air quality are Katraj and Hadapsar, where emissions from suspended dust and traffic are dominant. Rest of the areas have moderate air quality.
While Pune may not have good grades in pollution, there is good news for PCMC region. According to their reading, the cleanest area where level of PM2.5 is below the threshold level in “good” range is Bhosari and Nigdi (40-50 microgram/m3).
The health advisory for Shivajinagar, Katraj and Hadapsar is in the range of “poor to very poor”, while for the rest of Pune city SAFAR has issued “moderate” alert.