Herald: Pollution in Vasco ‘many times better’ than other towns: IIT-B

Pollution in Vasco ‘many times better’ than other towns: IIT-B

29 Mar 2019 05:44am IST
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29 Mar 2019 05:44am IST

Finds the particulate matter levels below the recommended figure; Findings of chemical analysis to be tabled in June

Team Herald

PANJIM: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, which is undertaking the Source Apportionment Study of Vasco, with regard to the pollution caused due to handling of coal at Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), has observed that the pollution level of Vasco is “similar” or “many times better” than other towns of Goa. 

The IIT-Bombay team headed by Prof Virendra Sethi is currently conducting a detailed chemical analysis to scientifically assess the contribution and sources of pollution in all Particulate Matter (PM) samples collected from Vasco and is expected to table the findings of the chemical analysis by June 2019.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the team said that in February it had tabled its preliminary report ‘Vasco Air Pollution Project’ with the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB).  “According to the preliminary report, IIT-B attributed the cause of pollution in Vasco city to the burning of biomass material for water heating and cooking. The preliminary report also revealed that coal handling at MPT contributes less than 10 percent of the total PM10/PM2.5 pollutions in the city of Vasco da Gama,” the statement said.

“Moreover, the study found that pollution levels in the Vasco city, are similar or many times better than those in other cities of Goa, with the PM levels much below the recommended levels,” it added further. 

The statement further said that the chemical analysis will further determine the source elements, ions (sulphates, nitrates, ammonia etc), and carbon fractions (organic compounds) in the PM samples. The source apportionment exercise will also help to understand the mix of other sources in the pollution load from the wider area, it added.

The institute mentioned that it is important to note that the PM concentrations recorded at all identified locations were below the 24-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) – the nation-wide standards set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for ambient air quality.

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