New Delhi: Air pollution in Delhi and nearby cities has reached unprecedented levels. The government today informed that the level of particulate matter (PM10), which can cause serious health problems, has exceeded the prescribed limits in the air of Delhi and five other neighbouring cities.
Amidst the concerns raised in Rajya Sabha over the rising air pollution in Delhi, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told Rajya Sabha that the levels of Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen were in control during 2011-13, but (PM10) has shot up in the period.
PM10 particles are less than 10 micrometers in diameter and are so small that they can get into the lungs, potentially causing serious health problems.
Ambient air quality in Delhi and National Capital Region is monitored by Pollution Control Boards of Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and NEERI under National Air Monitoring Programme at 20 locations of Delhi, Faridabad, Gaziabad, Meerut, Noida and Alwar, he said.
"As per the analysis of data for last three years (2011-13), the levels of Sulphur dioxide (annual averages of 50ug/m3) and nitrogen (annual averages of 40 ug/m3) were within norms.
"However, PM10 has exceeded the prescribed norms in all six cities," Javadekar said.
He said that the provision of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 to prevent and control air pollution are implemented by the DPCC in Delhi through its officials.
"The laboratories of DPCC and CBCB are adequately equipped to monitor emissions from industries," Javadekar said.
The government had yesterday said it has decided to put in place a unified air quality monitoring system to ensure that "authenticated" information is available to people.
The Union Environment Minister said the CPCB, DPCC and IMD have also developed a Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) of data "validation, analysis and dissemination" and gave comprehensive details as to how it would work.
(With Agency inputs)