Last week, the overall PM 2.5 count at Kolkata's Rabindra Bharti University was 381.
After Delhi, Kolkata's air quality has been deteriorating rapidly and the city surpassed national capital in becoming the most polluted metropolitan city.
According to recent reports, the city showed higher levels of pollution levels than Delhi which often grabs the spotlight for its deteriorating air quality. Last week, the overall PM 2.5 count at Kolkata's Rabindra Bharti University was 381. This is alarmingly higher than 292.25 recorded in Delhi's Ashok Vihar, one of the most polluted localities in the capital.
The development, along with the recent WHO report, indicating that Kolkata’s air quality is worsening at a faster rate than Delhi, has raised eyebrows. “The WHO report is a clarion call for all of us to wake from our slumber and do something drastic to improve the city’s air quality,” environmentalist Subhas Datta was quoted as saying in a report by The Times of India.
Reasons behind the pollution
According to various reports, the high number of diesel vehicles in the densely populated city is one of the main reasons for the pollution. A study by University of Kolkata in 2013 revealed that diesel-run cars constitute nearly two-thirds of all the care sales in the city, reported India Today.
Another key factor has been the arrival of the winter season in the region. The city experiences fall in air quality during winters owing to low wind speed and temperature leading to a rise in particulate levels, according to reports.
However, people have also targeted the administration for their alleged apathy when it comes to facing the situation. Speaking to The Times of India, emission expert Somendra Mohan Ghosh claimed that while Delhi has been taking proactive steps to tackle the pollution menace including odd-even scheme, nothing like that has been done in Kolkata.
First Published: IST