TODAY -

Pollution cocktail: Fresh bane to State's air
Source: The Sangai Express / S Singlianmang Guite

Lamka, May 13 2013: Amidst the recent shocker from the global burden of disease estimates that one fifth of global deaths occur due to outdoor air pollution in India, it is only evident that the State hasn't been spared either with recent extreme climatic phenomenon making its appearance often than not.

The winter smog that disrupted flights and exposed commuters to mishaps last December in Imphal andr Churachandpur; the hailstorm that turned the landscape of Churachandpur into a sea of white barely a week back and many other such phenomenon have indicated that the State now have particulate matter levels much higher than the standard acceptance.

At a recent briefing of scribes of the region, the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has claimed that despite the limited air quality monitoring in the States of the North East region, 68 per cent of the cities they monitored have particulate matter (PM) levels higher than the standard level.

As Manipur valley is surrounded by hills, polluted air gets confined here for longer period as such PM levels often reach 581 microgrammes per cum against the standard level of 60 microgrammes per cum, according to the CSE data.

Vehicular emissions are of special concerns as it makes the pollution concentration in human's breathe 3-4 times higher than in the ambient air concentration.

World Bank review has found vehicles contributing an average 50% of the direct PM emissions and 70% of PM exposure.

Yet the State has more reasons to worry about as it still has a huge share in what was dubbed as 'survival emission' the Jhum cultivation.

PM 10 levels in the State range from 200-250 ng/m3 during burning period when compared to the background levels of 100 jig m3 before the burning period, said a CPCB's impact assessment data.

Besides about 40% of the State's households, it is said, are still dependent on fire-wood for cooking.

Another source that has raised the PM levels according to officials of the Assam Pollution Control Board was the dust particulates during winter.

Winter or no winter, Manipur is always exposed to the threat with its never ending sewerage projects and the forever poor condition of its highways.

And it is not just lung infection but the ever increasing cases of Diabetes, Heart diseases, Blood Pressure, Foetus defects etc could be well attributed to poor air quality, said the CSE adding, there can be nothing more serious than having an extremely high level of particulates and pollution cocktail the problem of exposure to mul- tiple pollutants.

Manipur is a hot-bed of these cocktails.


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