The PM10, or particulate matter, data for Belagavi shows that where the National Ambient Air Quality Standards should have been 60, the air we breathe in Belagavi has 89 PM10 levels. The WHO standard is far lower at 20.
This Airpocalypse report is the fourth version in the series of Airpocalypse reports published annually by Greenpeace India since January 2017.
The current version of the report “Airpocalypse-IV” analyses and discusses the data compiled by CPCB from NAMP network collecting air quality data for 745 stations across the country in 2018 and compared that to the NAAQS and cities notified as non-attainment under NCAP. The report also highlights specific actions to be taken by Governments and the public in order to move towards Clean air Nation and breathable air quality throughout the country.
The report stated that Bengaluru, Raichur, Belagavi, Tumakuru, Kolar, Vijayapura, Hubballi, Dharwad and Bagalkot are heavily polluted as the deadly particulate matter 10 (PM10) levels are way higher than the prescribed 60 micrograms under quality standards.
In January 2019, the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), released the first ever NCAP for the country. Under this programme, cities are expected to reduce their air pollution levels by 20-30 percent by 2024 over the 2017 levels. Belagavi is however not included in this list.
Every single day, we breathe polluted air way beyond permissible standards for our health. Several reports had been published over the years about the abysmal state of air pollution in the country. The latest Greenpeace report also mentions the same.
For those who do not understand the different levels of pollution: Visible smoke is comprised of particles of PM10 size or larger. The particles with the greatest health effects are those within the “respirable range”, that is between PM10 and PM0.1. The respirable range contains particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs and deposit there; particles smaller than PM0.1 are usually exhaled. Fine and ultra fine particles (PM2.5 and PM 0.1) are not visible to the eye (2.5 microns is approximately 1/30th the size of a human hair). 1.6 Million more people die due to air pollution in India and China according to Greenpeace, India.