New Delhi: A study of ambient air quality estimated in 2020 that for the five pollutants CO, NOx, PM10, PM2.5 and Sox air quality was extremely poor in South-West, West, New Delhi, Central, North- East, East and South-East Districts for three air pollutants (PM10, PM2.5 and NOx).
The study, published in the Elsevier Journal of Transport & Health, in 2020 was conducted by researchers from Delhi University of Technology, Amity University, Haryana and Indraprastha University.
In the study, researchers focused on understanding the impact of air-polluted traffic criteria along 36 transport corridors in 11 district capitals and assessed the associated health risks.
We classified vehicle pollutants into five different categories of low distribution, medium low, moderate, medium high and high, said Rajeev Kumar Mishra, assistant professor, DTU. Spatial distribution maps were developed using the Geographic Information System covering 36 transport corridors. The study demonstrated the concentration of three of the five ambient air pollutants, namely NOx, PM10 and PM2.5.
Mishra said the ambient air quality in the Southern, Central, Eastern and New Delhi districts were in the high and medium high categories, and thus required adequate control measures.
The researchers used parameters such as vehicle characteristics, emission factor, road characteristics and meteorological factors to estimate the emission and concentration of pollutants in the corridors. Co-researcher Amrit Kumar said, “We have observed higher concentrations of carbon monoxide in districts such as the South East, East, Shahdara, Center and New Delhi because these have regular cross-border fleets.”
Similarly, NOx was higher in the South and South-East due to the mixed land use pattern, characterized by commercial and residential areas and higher traffic density between districts. PM2.5 and PM10 levels were highest in Shahdara, South-East, South, New Delhi and Central districts.
The study also reported on expected cases of human exposure to respiratory mortality, cardiovascular mortality, and total pollution-related mortality. The high respiratory mortality and cardiovascular mortality at ISBT Flyover and Wazirabad Road, as well as Panchkuian Road, Janpath, Tilak Marg and Sansad Marg, we assumed may have been due to vehicle pollution, Mishra said.
The researchers thought it was important for policymakers to focus on the findings of the reports and bring appropriate remedial action. We should also look at the local sources of pollution in Delhi. Traffic pollution and biomass burning also increase pollution and should be taken into account, Mishra said.
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