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Diesel gensets cause 30% spike in Gurugram air pollution: Report

PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels see a 15 times rise between diesel genets being turned on and off across residential societies in the city.

Diesel gensets cause 30% spike in Gurugram air pollution: Report
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New Delhi: Use of diesel gensets in residential societies across Gurugram is responsible for increasing the air pollution in the city by as much as 30%, according to a report released by Center for Science and Environment (CSE) recently.

The CSE report outlines that PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels significantly rise due to the use of diesel gensets and lasts up to one hour after these have been switched off. It also found that when gensets are used for several hours, the rise in PM 10 is 50% to 100% more than what is registered before these are switched on. The pollutants also reportedly remain in the air for far longer. The report found, for instance, that when gensets are used for an average of 8 hours a day, PM2.5 levels hover around the 300-mark while PM 10 levels are at 1900.  “Diesel generator use in societies is causing an alarming increase in pollution levels with spikes of up to 15 times the safe levels," said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE.

That gensets are used in residential societies make children and elderly especially vulnerable. Those with respiratory problems too are at significant risk.

The CSE report goes on to highlight that Gurugram has a tremendous potential to use solar rooftops (SRTs) instead of diesel gensets to meet its energy requirements. Apart from the obvious benefit of far cleaner air, use of SRTs could also be much more cheaper in the long run. The report highlights that while operating gensets cost Rs 35 per unit, using SRTs could mean a cost of Rs 6 per unit.

The existing roadblock for the promotion and use of gensets are a general lack of awareness, unfamiliarity with the technology, high upfront cost and concerns related to maintenance.

The need to use cleaner technology for energy generation though is extremely important considering Gurugram, like other cities in NCR, figure prominently on the list of world's most polluted.