Panaji: Pollution levels in the iron ore belts of Goa dropped considerably after mining activity was banned in September last, bringing them within the permissible limits, according to the data placed before the Legislative Assembly.
Citing the data measured till February, Environment Minister Alina Saldanha told the House yesterday that the pollution levels showed a downward trend.
The Supreme Court had imposed an interim ban on mining activity in Goa in September last on a petition filed by a local NGO pointing out illegal mining.
The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has been measuring the pollution levels in the mining belt at nine locations -- Curchorem, Honda, Codli, Assanora, Bicholim, Amona, Usgao, Sangume and Tilamol.
"Air is monitored through the presence of particulate matter of 10 microns diameter (PM10) and PM2.5," she said.
These particles are harmful as they can cause lung-related diseases.
The data tabled on the floor of the House reveals that the PM10 where in range of 77-80 micrograms per cubic metre, while the permissible limit is 100 micrograms per cubic metre.
The concentration of PM 2.5 in air stands between 15-40 micrograms per cubic metre, well within the permissible limit is 60 micrograms per cubic metre, Saldanha said.