Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): State capital Bhopal, which was once well-known for fresh air and calming breezes, has turned into a city reeling under plumes of smoke, dust and smog. The data revealed by the Bhopal pollution control board reveals that the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) has dipped to the ‘poor’ category, logging a count of 306 as on Wednesday. The Kolar locality of the city has reported the worst AQI (306), owing to the construction works of the six-lane road there.
Executive engineer at Bhopal pollution control board, Brajesh Sharma, told Free Press that in view of the worst AQI being reported from Kolar, the NGT has recently issued a notice to Bansal group, which is entrusted with the responsibility of six-lane road construction in Kolar. In the notice, the NGT has sought explanation for the measures being adopted by the group to restrain the pollution caused.
The construction of the road has led to other woes apart from worsening AQI too, such as potholes, road accidents, spine injuries and others. Followed by Kolar is the Sant Hirdaram Nagar area of Bhopal, where the AQI count is 296, thanks to the highway connecting the city to Indore, Sehore and various other districts. The road at Sant Hirdaram Nagar witnesses a footfall of huge two-wheeler and four-wheeler commuters, accompanied by scores of city buses. The third worst area in Bhopal with a poor AQI is the TT Nagar area, which is enveloped with a huge traffic density throughout the day. The AQI count logged by TT Nagar is 238.
Apart from growing traffic density in the city, the dip in AQI is also attributed to the winters, which are just round the corner and are expected to hit the state capital as well as the state within a week. The formation of smog (Smoke+fog) has led to the worsening of AQI further.
Other officials at the Bhopal Pollution control board, requesting anonymity from Free press, said that if AQI continues to decline in the city, it is highly likely that four-wheelers comprising BS3 (petrol engines) and BS4 (diesel engines) shall be banned in the city.
The directorate of health services, MP, has shed light on the grave concern of worsening Air Quality Index (AQI) across Bhopal and the entire state, and has revealed the statistics of the number of deaths caused in India due to polluted air.
The data based on a study carried out by Indian Council of Medical Research in 2019, highlighted that every year, as many as 32.5% people succumb to the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), followed by Ischemic heart disease IHD), which claims 29.5 per cent lives every year. The directorate has issued advisories to download the ‘Sameer App’ to monitor AQI in the surroundings. It has directed doctors to ensure equipment and medicines to tackle respiratory issues among people, and people have been advised to refrain from jogging in early mornings of winters, or late at night till the winters last.