Thursday, April 28, 2005

Pollution level exceeds limit on many city roads with high vehicle density

Pollution level exceeds limit on many city roads with high vehicle density

The Hindu

BANGALORE: Though the city police have introduced the one-way system on several roads saying that it would ease traffic congestion and ensure smoother flow of traffic, the system seems to have not made much of a difference to the city's traffic flow and vehicle density on some of the major roads and intersections.

While the traffic flow pattern and vehicle density on Ring Road, West of Chord Road and Hosur Road have not exceeded the capacity, it has exceeded at nine traffic circles and on roads, including Ananda Rao Circle, Mehkri Circle, Magadi Road, Avenue Road, Kempe Gowda Road, Cunningham Road, National Highway No. 4, Mysore Road and J.C. Road.

Mahatma Gandhi Road

In the case of Mahatma Gandhi Road and Airport Road, the traffic flow pattern and vehicle carrying capacity exceeds limits between 9 a.m. and noon and between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

On Nruputunga Road, the carrying capacity exceeds limits between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

These roads and circles also report the highest pollution levels in Bangalore.

If Mysore Road reports the highest level of suspended particulate matter (SPM) of 1562.51 mog/m3 and Sulphur dioxide (SO2) of 92.56 mog/m, Nruputunga Road reports the lowest SPM and SO2 levels.

Avenue Road reports the second highest levels of SPM and SO2 levels with 465.29 and 66.33 mog/m, respectively. Studies have indicated that SPM levels are high in areas around Victoria Hospital, Bharat Scouts and Guides, opposite Bishop Cotton Girls' High School, Jayadeva Hospital, Bowring Hospital, Tumkur Road, KIMCO Circle and K.R. Market.

The high levels of pollution, particularly Sulphur dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide, have resulted in increased respiratory diseases and this is shown by studies by different organisations, including the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), and a book recently written by Ameer Ahmed, an environmental engineer.

Titled "Urban Vehicular Pollution Control-Focus Bangalore", the book comprehensively brings out the alarming pollution levels in Bangalore and the need to bring them down to safer limits.

Poor road network

It also brings out eloquently the poor road network in Bangalore and the city's inability to handle the vehicle traffic.

Apart from the 15-lakh vehicles plying on the city roads, about two-lakh vehicles enter Bangalore from National Highway 4 and National Highway 7 (from Tumkur Road, Hosur Road, Old Madras Road and Bellary Road).

Ambient air quality

According to the study, the ambient air quality around hospitals, schools and colleges is deteriorating day by day and reports by KSPCB mobile laboratories show that pollution levels in these places are above standard values.

Prof. Ahmed has suggested several solutions to the pollution woes of Bangalore, including the use of bio fuels, curbing adulteration of fuel oils, using catalytic converters in automobiles to trap un-burnt fuel and encourage use of liquefied petroleum gas kits in autorickshaws and other vehicles of mass transport.


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