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live AQI index
|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 94* US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Pimpri is currently 6.5 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Moderate 94 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 29
Moderate 90 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Moderate 94 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Moderate 87 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Moderate 59 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Moderate 61 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 5
Moderate 70 AQI US
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Pimpri is situated in the Indian state of Maharashtra and is an extension of the mega-city of Pune, along with ten other towns/cities. It is connected to Pune by the old Pune-Mumbai highway. It is home to some of India’s largest automobile manufacturers which greatly contribute to Pimpri’s poor air quality. Towards the end of 2020, the recorded US AQI figure was 143 which places it in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” according to recommended levels by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Individual pollutants were recorded as follows; PM2.5 - 52.8 µg/m³, PM10 - 88 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 28.1 µg/m³ and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 25.1 µg/m³. All of these figures are well in excess of the WHO recommendations.
An Air Quality Index (AQI) is a number used by governments and other leading experts in the field to communicate to the public just how polluted the air currently is, or forecast how much better or worse it will become. As the figure gets larger, the number of people who will start to become affected also starts to increase. Some local authorities make this information available through a downloadable app on a smartphone. Others invest in large LED displays at strategic locations throughout the city and display the results for all to see. The more information people have as to the quality of air that they breathe, the more likely there are to take an interest and try to reduce their own emissions.
AQI figures are based on the measurement of major pollutants suspended in the air. Particulate Matter or PM2.5 and PM10, ground-level ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) are the main ones but there are many others depending on the location.
Air pollution can be outdoor or indoor. Outdoor air pollution has its origin from natural and anthropogenic sources. Natural sources contribute to more local pollution whereas anthropogenic sources create pollution on a much wider scale.
Pune is one of the major industrial hubs in India and many large industries have established manufacturing plants in the Pimpri-Chinchwad area. The industrialisation of this area is not a new concept as it all began in 1954 when Hindustan Antibiotics Limited established a manufacturing base in the area. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), recognised air pollution as a potential problem in 1984 and began to record levels of pollution. Over the years many more ground stations have been inaugurated due to lower costs and modern technology.
Another major contributor to Pimpri’s air pollution is the number of vehicles using the roads on a daily basis. In 2003 Pimpri Chinchwad had over 1 million vehicles registered with the local authorities. Approximately 75 per cent of these were two-wheelers. The situation is exacerbated by the poor public transportation service within the city. Other factors such as poor quality fuel, lack of vehicle maintenance, poor road conditions, congestion at busy junctions and old automotive technologies all contribute to the air pollution in Pimpri.
Brick kilns and stone crushing units are also significantly declining the air quality in the city.
The health effects caused by vehicular pollution in the city is shown through increasing cases of coughs, headaches, nausea, irritation of eyes, and various bronchial and respiratory diseases besides visibility problems.
Long-term exposure to polluted air can have permanent health effects such as accelerated aging of the lungs and thus loss of their capacity and decreased lung function, development of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and possibly cancer. Contaminated organs have to work harder in order to get the quantity of oxygen that is needed by the body to survive.
Some groups of people are more susceptible than others, notably those with pre-existing medical problems, pregnant women, children under the age of 14 years, senior citizens and those who are required to work outdoors. People in these groups are more likely to be affected by much lower levels of air pollution that strong, healthy people. It is recommended that they stay at home or wear a mask and limit their time outside if going out is imperative.
As 70 per cent of air pollution is caused by vehicles the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is starting to tackle the issue from many angles. Public awareness of the effects that poor quality air has on the body, the creation of green belts and re-forestation of vacant land, the increase in buses that use LPG/CNG as a fuel source and a complete ban on the use of vehicles over 15 years old. It is intended to add 200 minibuses, 800 BRT buses and make another 550 buses available for long-term lease by companies.
After a comprehensive sampling of air within the worst parts of the city 5 areas have been identified as being critically polluted (CPA) and a further 3 are designated as being severely polluted. These 8 sites are being monitored 24/7 in a concerted effort to discover the main perpetrators behind the poor air. The exhaust stacks of many manufacturing units have had monitors fitted so that their emissions can be accurately recorded and measures are taken to eliminate the problem.
The traditional festivities of Diwali take place in the lunisolar month of Kartika towards the end of October or early November. Diwali is mainly recognized by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and can last as long as five days. During this time, the “Festival of Light”, candles, oil burners and lanterns are lit in private homes. Fireworks and firecrackers are extensively used as part of this celebration. Unfortunately, these all contribute to poor air quality because of the pollutants their release into the environment. As it is winter in this area these pollutants become trapped in the lower layers of the air due to temperature inversion. This happens when cool air is trapped in the troposphere under a layer of warmer air. This phenomenon limits the diffusion of smoke, dust and other suspended pollutants.