Thane: The Thane city saw an increase in the air pollution level as more vehicles come out on the road following the unlock phase.
The pollution level of the city, which was green and yellow categories (low and medium levels), has now deteriorated to orange and red, indicating high and very high level at various spots of Thane.
"With different pollution level in various areas in Thane, the pollution level of the city has reached 53% at present. The city has witnessed the increase since the unlock phase has been implemented," said an official from pollution control department, TMC.
"During the lockdown phase, the air pollution level had decreased to below 40% with minor fluctuations. However, it has again slowly started increasing at present," added the official.
The Air Pollution Index (API) is categorised as green indicating low, yellow as medium, orange as high and red as very high. During the initial phase of lockdown, maximum areas of the city were under the green and yellow category.
"At present, the areas like Teen Haat Naka recorded pollution level of 113 per cent and moved into the red category. However, the Wagle Estate area records pollution level of 40 percent. Naupada area which consists most of the market and commercial area counts 35 per cent of pollution level. Hence, altogether the air pollution of the city is counted as 53 percent," informed TMC official.
The locals and experts said that the pollution level is likely to continue to rise.
"The existing means of transport is not adequate to serve the current daily commuting crowd from one city to another. Hence, the commuters are forced to use their private vehicles. This is the major reason behind the increase in the air pollution level," said Mahesh Bedekar, a citizen activist from Thane.
"Considering the pandemic situation, it's high time to introduce new means of public transport like Metro and Mono rails. This will reduce the load on existing transport facilities and public vehicles. Besides, the eco-friendly transport like bicycle should be promoted by civic body at internal parts of the cities by making available proper cycle stations and tracks to reduce the pollution level," added Bedekar.