Lucknow suffers with severe air pollution, claims CEED report

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Only 5% days in 2017 were good to breathe in Lucknow

In a recent analysis by CEED for air quality of the year 2017, Lucknow has perpetually been under dangerous levels of air pollution throughout the year, putting its citizens at serious health risks. CEED studied the ambient air quality data from the real time monitoring station of Pollution Control Board (PCB) to understand the air quality of Lucknow for the year 2017 (https://goo.gl/Dk13aP). In 2017, only 17 days were found under ‘Good’ air quality category. Maximum number of days (76%) in Lucknow had ‘Bad’ air quality, while 19% of the days were under the ‘Satisfactory’ category. In the winter months (November and December) of 2017, Lucknow’s air was not less than toxic smoke and was found under ‘Very Poor’ to ‘Severe+’ category for 61 consecutive days.

The report highlighted Lalbagh as the most polluted place in Lucknow among the three locations where continuous air quality monitoring stations are installed. The annual mean PM2.5 concentration in Lalbagh was 130 μg/m3, followed by Talkatora (129 μg/m3) and Central School (104 μg/m3). While the manual monitoring station’s 11-month average data for PM10 indicates Hazratganj as the most polluted among the seven locations. The other locations include Aliganj, Mahanagar, Saraimali Khan, Talkatora, Ansal T.C and Gomti Nagar.

Talking about the air quality trend of Lucknow, Ramapati Kumar, CEO of CEED said, “The air pollution in the city is a serious problem, with serious threat of particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration. It should be kept in mind that pollution is not a seasonal affair, but a year-round phenomenon with profound severity. The state government should chalk out an affirmative Clean Air Action Plan with a time-bound implementation strategy to prevent perennial air pollution episodes. The action plan identifies a set of action priorities as per emission source, recognised regulations, and also includes institutional arrangement that will set it on track to mitigate pollution. Mr. Kumar added that “It is also essential for the city to have a source apportionment study in order to understand the emission profile of each of the polluting sectors.”

Elaborating on the findings, Ankita Jyoti, Senior Program Officer of CEED said “Our analysis found that Lucknow’s air quality was worst on November 13, although according to CPCB’s daily Air Quality Bulletin, November 14 was the most polluted. The PM2.5 value was calculated as 446μg/m3 on 13th November, which is 7 times higher than the national safety limits. The report has highlighted November as the most polluted month, while July was found as least polluted. Further explaining the report, Ms Jyoti says the report corroborates an urgent need of robust continuous air quality monitoring in Lucknow.

Uttar Pradesh should work out a targeted action plan to reduce emissions from all sources, and stringent measures must be employed to clean the ambient air. CEED urges the Uttar Pradesh Government to take concrete measures to improve the air quality of the city.