The KSPCB has collected data on the air quality of Bengaluru from hotspots in the city, including Peenya, Jayanagar and the Central Railway Station.

Traffic on Bengaluru's MG Road
news Pollution Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 17:14

The air quality in Bengaluru from November 1 to December 8 this year has “vastly” improved compared to that of 2019, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has found. The CO2 content in the atmosphere in seven out of eight zones stayed within 50-100 μg/m3, which KSPCB officials say is largely due to a reduction in vehicular traffic and construction activity in Bengaluru. 

According to the Air Quality Index chart, CO2 levels between 41-80 μg/m3 are deemed “satisfactory”, and “moderately polluted” between 81-380 μg/m3. “If the levels are above 100, which is usually the case in Bengaluru, it means there is a lot of air pollution,” the official said. 

The KSPCB has accumulated data from hotspots in the city, which indicates that Peenya has the highest CO2 concentration in the atmosphere (147 μg/m3), followed by the Bengaluru Central Railway Station (63 μg/m3). The other hotspots in the city included Kavika Nagar (52 μg/m3), Hebbal (51 μg/m3), Saneguravanahalli (44 μg/m3), Jayanagar (43 μg/m3) and Kadubeesanahalli (41 μg/m3). 

Speaking to TNM, an official with the KSPCB said that the primary reason for the improvement of the CO2 levels was due to the reduction in vehicular traffic since the lockdown. “Many private companies have not reopened their offices. Schools have been shut and colleges were open only in November. Besides, construction activity has also reduced quite a bit. This is one of the reasons for better air quality,” he said. 

In 2019, areas like Silk Board, Jayanagar, Majestic, KR Market, Central Business District, Whitefield and Bellandur had CO2 levels higher than 150 μg/m3, the official said. “Air quality has improved but there is another problem during winter. Dust pollution has increased in Bengaluru,” he said. 

The official said that in many areas, air pollution due to dust particles could be caused by unattended public infrastructure works, and also building construction activities which have halted. “The problem in winter is that the humidity in the air is low and dust particles remain in the air for longer. In many areas where road works have stopped or construction activity is going on or has halted, the dust pollution has increased,” the official said.

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