Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 12:

Odisha’s capital city is fast catching up with the polluting cities across the country as a recent study has revealed that the pollutants in the air are alarmingly high: courtesy– the rapid construction works in and around the city.

Orissa State Pollution Control board

“Following drop in temperatures and foggy conditions, a marked increase in air pollution level has been recorded in the capital city,” said Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) regional officer Hadibandhu Panigrahi.

Increase in construction activities in the smart city has worsened the situation and no one is ready to sprinkle water at construction sites despite repeated orders, which in return has resulted in rising air pollution and intense fog till late in the morning triggering respiratory problems among denizens of Bhubaneswar, he added warning that the situation may deteriorate in future if precautionary measures are not taken.

As per an estimate, the Capital Hospital here is receiving over 30 patients every day with complaints of respiratory problems.

The OSPCB has installed air-pollution monitoring devices at various locations in the city including Capital Police Station, IRC Village, Patrapada, Central Laboratory and Palasuni Square, besides its office in Nayapalli area.

Area PM (2.5) PM (10)
Capital Police Station  73  115
IRC Village  95  114
Patrapada  121  210
Central Laboratory  47  78
Palasuni Square  47  120

The above figures indicate that Patrapada area, on the outskirts of the city, has topped the list of most polluted area in the capital city.

Notably, the air pollution quality is measured in two methods – respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) and fine particulate matter (FPM).

The standard size of FPM should stand at 2.5 microns or below in air. If its quantity is recorded over 60 microgram in one meter area then the air is considered to be polluted or unsafe for breathing.

However, the standard size of RSPM is little larger than FPM. It is less than 10 microns. If its quantity crosses 100 microgram then the air pollution is considered to be on the rise.

It may be mentioned here that a study made public by international NGO Greenpeace has found that no Indian city meets WHO air quality norms.