According to a recent Deccan Chronicle article, Hyderabad is the worst-hit city in South India in terms of air pollution. The article cited a report by the Central Pollution Control Board which found that Hyderabad has the greatest number of ‘red days’ in comparison to other southern cities and cities in the western region of the country. The red days, notably, indicate the days that have higher levels of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 in the air, which many doctors believe is the primary cause of various breathing related troubles.
PM 2.5 refers to the particles in the air that are less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter. These particles, as revealed in numerous studies, are the most hazardous of air-borne pollutants that get into the lungs and adversely affect the health of people irrespective of which age group they belong to.
Even though the number of red days, as per the Central Pollution Control Board data, seems to be alarmingly high in Hyderabad, the Telangana State Pollution Control Board reassured there’s nothing to panic as they are doing everything they can to keep the level of pollution in Hyderabad under control.
Lost Air Quality Cannot Be Revived in a Short Span, Environmentalists and Experts Say
PM 2.5 is not just a matter of concern for people who have lung diseases or are susceptible to breathing problems. It, in fact, is a concern for everyone, especially the elderly and children. An increase of PM 2.5 in the air severely deteriorates the air quality, which, according to environmentalists, can’t be easily restored without sustained efforts.
Experts, in a probe to find out why Hyderabad is facing such a crisis, came to the conclusion that decreasing green spaces and an abnormal increase in the use of vehicles are the key factors that are mainly contributing to the deterioration of air quality. A distinguished environmentalist stated that plants allow dust particles to settle on their leaves. They offer us the buffer zone, reducing the random spread of hazardous pollutants. So a decrease in green spaces and an uncontrolled increase in industries and vehicles can lead Hyderabad to an extremely dangerous situation if the problem is left unattended.
The best way to address this challenge and find a workable solution to this increasing problem is to raise awareness among the general public. At the same time, the state government is also making efforts to reduce pollution in Hyderabad. In an attempt to lessen the city’s vehicular population, the government is organizing various programs that encourage people to use public transport. The Telangana government is also cracking down on illegal constructions and industries to curb pollution levels.
Awareness Is Change
Nothing in a democracy is possible without the will of the people, and the people of Hyderabad are going the distance to make the city a cleaner and greener place. The citizens are not shying away from their responsibilities; rather, they are actively contributing in every way possible to reduce the city’s pollution. Like it is being seen on several occasions, most people are willing to avail pool cars to commute, while there are others, who are refraining from bursting crackers on events like weddings, elections, or other celebrations. This is helping to put a check on air as well as noise pollution in Hyderabad in a substantial way.
A recent article cited the Director of the Telangana State Pollution Control Board, P Veeranna, acknowledging the people’s participation in trying to reduce pollution. He said that this year on Diwali, Hyderabad’s citizens opted for noise-free crackers that restricted noise pollution to a great extent.
Pollution in Hyderabad is Not as Bad as the Capital
While pollution is a rising issue everywhere, Delhi has almost become a benchmark for pollution levels in India. Fortunately, pollution in Hyderabad is nowhere close to the pollution levels in the capital city. Still, efforts are going on in order to reduce the existing pollution levels.
The Telangana State Pollution Control Board, through six online stations situated at ICRISAT, Bolarum, Pashamylaram, Zoo Park, Sanathnagar, and Hyderabad Central University, monitors the city’s air quality 24/7. In addition, the state Pollution Control Board manually observes the pollution levels, twice a week, through 21 stations spread across the Greater Hyderabad limits.
Hyderabad may not top the list of the most polluted cities in India, but the causes of concern remain nonetheless. If the people and the state government work hand in hand to keep pollution levels under control, the city can be really transformed into a cleaner and healthier place.