The growing number of vehicles in the city is certainly leading to traffic chaos and adding to the parking problem, but the good news is that it has not led to the rise in pollution level.
On the contrary the level of pollution has shown a fall — pollution level in the city has been measured to be less than the permissible limit.
The data by the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) reveals that the air pollution has decreased over the past few years..
The permissible limit of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) or (PM10) is 100 microgram per metric cube (mpmc). GSPCB ambient air quality data shows PM10 in 2013 to be 61 mpmc;
in 2010-2011 pollution level increased from 79 mpmc to 137 mpmc.
Suspended particulate matter (SPM) and respirable suspended particulate matter (PM10) are the pollutants which carry toxic (including carcinogenic) trace substance, and enter into the respiratory system thereby irritating lung tissue and causing long-term disorders
The analysis done by GSPCB indicates that the pollution level has decreased during the last two months.
For the current year, the pollution level is below the permissible limit. In February 2013, PM10 was 61 mpmc, however, in March 2011, it was found to be 119 mpmc and was 121 mpmc in March 2010.
During 2009 to 2011, in the period covering the month of December to March, PM10 was found to be 137 mpmc. The levels of nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide were much below the permissible limits
The decline in the pollution level was witnessed in the later years. Scientists from GSPCB revealed, “The condition in Goa is much better than that in the other states. The pollution levels are lower than the permissible limits. As the engines of vehicles are becoming more sophisticated, the levels of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide have declined and are much below the permissible limits. However, the levels of PM10 (RSPM) and PM2.5 (SPM) are low as the city does not have any hazardous industry; one of the major contributors to the air pollution are the old buses and diesel engine vehicles, which emit heavy emission particulate.”
A source from transport department disclosed that there are presently 315 old buses plying on road which will be replaced in a phased manner within 3 years
He further said that on an average there are two vehicles for every three person in the total population of 14.57 lakhs; the floating population of vehicles is around nine lakhs.
The transport authority, when questioned on the measures to reduce air pollution, disclosed it has made mandatory for every vehicle owner to carry a valid Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate issued by a pollution centre valid for 6 months and maintain the vehicle within the prescribed emission norms.
As per the MV Act, the idling carbon monoxide emission limit for all two and three-wheelers should not exceed 4.5 per cent; and for all vehicles other than two and three-wheelers it should not exceed 3 per cent and the smoke density for all diesel driven vehicles should not exceed 65 hart ridge smoke units.
“The offence of not having a PUC certificate also attracts prosecution under Section 190(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act. For 2 wheelers fine imposed is upto Rs 500, for taxis and auto rickshaws it is Rs 600 and for heavy vehicles it is Rs 800,” said a transport inspector.
He further said that when we catch the two wheelers riders and motorists without PUC, we provide them a week’s time and warn them to maintain vehicle within the prescribed emission norms, adding in case of commercial vehicles, the vehicle fitness is to be carried out on a yearly basis, failing which the owners are fined. [NT]