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City reeling under dust pollution

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 24 � If Friday�s waterlogging in the city threw people�s lives out of gear, its aftermath is creating no less inconvenience for the harrowed citizens who have been compelled to endure worsening dust pollution in different areas.

This is because the receding waters had left a thick layer of slush which has been causing dust pollution since the past three days. In what has emerged as a major health hazard, the dust, together with vehicular emissions, forms a toxic haze that hangs over the atmosphere for a long period.

While this phenomenon has gripped the entire city, the Chandmari and Silpukhuri areas happen to be among the worst-hit.

�This is a harrowing experience to be living under such a choking dust pollution. This is a recurring phenomenon that happens with every burst of shower. The loose topsoil on the degraded hills gets carried to the roads and drains in the rain run-off and once the waterlogging subsides, it gives way to dust pollution,� a local resident said.

Periodical monitoring of the city�s ambient air quality by the Pollution Control Board of Assam (PCBA) has also been revealing a high presence of both respirable particulate matter (RPM) and suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the air, often in excess of the permissible limits.

The permissible limits for SPM and RPM are 200 micrograms per metre cubic and 100 micrograms per metre cubic respectively. Degradation of the city hills leading to accumulation of loose soil on the roads following rain, the boom in construction activities and the failure to maintain the norms aimed at checking dust pollution, growing vehicular movement and emission, have combined to worsen the dust pollution in Guwahati.

A PCBA source, while terming the trend of dust pollution as worrying, said that dust pollution normally showed a rising trend during the winter due to less rainfall to clean the atmosphere.

�From our ambient air quality checks, the period from November to March shows higher presence of SPM and RPM in the air,� he said.

For the people of Chandmari and Silpukhuri, however, more rains mean more dust pollution. �Heavy rains are certainly causing more dust pollution in our area because of accumulation of loose soil on the roads, and the problem is worsening by the day,� another resident said.

Besides monitoring, the PCBA recommends measures to the offenders for reducing air pollution. �We ask the Guwahati Refinery to maintain fuel quality and also arrange free pollution check-ups for vehicles. For checking vehicular pollution, however, the administration and the Transport Department should display greater commitment,� the source said.

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City reeling under dust pollution

GUWAHATI, Oct 24 � If Friday�s waterlogging in the city threw people�s lives out of gear, its aftermath is creating no less inconvenience for the harrowed citizens who have been compelled to endure worsening dust pollution in different areas.

This is because the receding waters had left a thick layer of slush which has been causing dust pollution since the past three days. In what has emerged as a major health hazard, the dust, together with vehicular emissions, forms a toxic haze that hangs over the atmosphere for a long period.

While this phenomenon has gripped the entire city, the Chandmari and Silpukhuri areas happen to be among the worst-hit.

�This is a harrowing experience to be living under such a choking dust pollution. This is a recurring phenomenon that happens with every burst of shower. The loose topsoil on the degraded hills gets carried to the roads and drains in the rain run-off and once the waterlogging subsides, it gives way to dust pollution,� a local resident said.

Periodical monitoring of the city�s ambient air quality by the Pollution Control Board of Assam (PCBA) has also been revealing a high presence of both respirable particulate matter (RPM) and suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the air, often in excess of the permissible limits.

The permissible limits for SPM and RPM are 200 micrograms per metre cubic and 100 micrograms per metre cubic respectively. Degradation of the city hills leading to accumulation of loose soil on the roads following rain, the boom in construction activities and the failure to maintain the norms aimed at checking dust pollution, growing vehicular movement and emission, have combined to worsen the dust pollution in Guwahati.

A PCBA source, while terming the trend of dust pollution as worrying, said that dust pollution normally showed a rising trend during the winter due to less rainfall to clean the atmosphere.

�From our ambient air quality checks, the period from November to March shows higher presence of SPM and RPM in the air,� he said.

For the people of Chandmari and Silpukhuri, however, more rains mean more dust pollution. �Heavy rains are certainly causing more dust pollution in our area because of accumulation of loose soil on the roads, and the problem is worsening by the day,� another resident said.

Besides monitoring, the PCBA recommends measures to the offenders for reducing air pollution. �We ask the Guwahati Refinery to maintain fuel quality and also arrange free pollution check-ups for vehicles. For checking vehicular pollution, however, the administration and the Transport Department should display greater commitment,� the source said.