Major causes of pollution in state’s industrial hub of Baddi
The transport sector has been identified as the major source of air pollution in the state’s industrial hub of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh with the contribution of industrial pollution being barely 22 per cent in a study conducted by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB).
Since the area houses the largest truck union having as many as 9,000 diesel-run trucks, pollution on account of the transportation sector has been found to be the largest contributor of air pollution. The share of kerosene generators has also found to be significant. Significant emissions from cheap domestic fuels like wood, coal, biomass, etc, have also added to air pollution. Apart from the usual industrial pollution, even the use of diesel-run generators during a power failure adds to air pollution and the practice of burning garbage openly also had an adverse affect on air pollution according to the study.
A significant amount of non-exhaust road dust emission from the movement of vehicles on the poorly maintained roads also had a share in polluting the air in the BBN area.
The study was conducted at 16 sites in the BBN where gaseous sampling of nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, ozone, methane and carbon mono oxide was undertaken along with particulate matter of various diameters.
The results showed that the level of particulate matter (PM) and sulphur dioxide far exceeded the safe limit as laid down by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The extent of PM10 and PM 2.5 was as high as 478.26 and 93.38 at Burawala industrial area while the extent of sulphur dioxide was as high as 89.70. Presence of lead at 6.95 was also detected in the air of BBN which was an alarming revelation as it can cause several health hazards. This was among the worst polluted site in the BBN while other sites like areas around Municipal Committee also recorded high levels of PM10 and PM 2.5 at 323.06 and 124.27 respectively.
Less air pollution was detected in habitations like Housing Board Phase 2 area of Baddi where the PM10 and PM 2.5 was comparatively lesser at 116.5 and 63.65. Presence of lead was detected at three sites — Burawala, Barotiwala and area around Morepan Labs.
Vineet Kumar, Member Secretary, SPCB, while agreeing that the transport sector contributed significantly to air pollution in the BBN said as per the latest norms of the Central Pollution Control Board the vehicular emissions would be monitored effectively.
He said industrial pollution was barely 22 per cent in the BBN and issues like poor roads, use of certain fuels like wood, burning of garbage also contributed significantly to air pollution.