Mushrooming brick kilns, stone quarries major air polluters in city, says study

Rapidly mushrooming brick kilns and stone quarries along the city boundaries are major contributors to air pollution within the city, reveals a study by a Delhi-based research group which has used data provided by the Pune Municipal Corporation and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.

The researchers have stressed the need to use better technologies for these activities, instead of just pushing them away from cities.

A Delhi-based research group named urbanemmissions.info did a detailed study of the pollution in six cities including Pune, Chennai, Indore, Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot. The studys says the areas around Pimpri-Chinchwad and Hadapsar, where brick kilns are mushrooming, and areas along Nagar Road where there are a large number stone quarries, are major contributors of the suspended particulate matter found within the city.

Sarath Guttikunda, founder and analyst with the group, said, "To study Pune's pollution, we considered 32X32 km area, which include both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad limits. The data collected over four months of summer shows that brick kilns contribute to the 67 per cent of particulate pollution in the Western fringe areas of the city. These brick kilns are major polluters as most of them use coal and wood and sometimes bad quality oil."

The study found that in the fringe areas of the city an average \particulate matter pollution is 68 micro gram per cubic metre and that in the central part it's around 111 micro gram per cubic meter. "It is very interesting to note that the chemical analysis done by the Central Pollution Control Board and the model developed by us show that brick kiln and stone quarries outside city contribute to about 25 per cent of pollution." said Guttikunda. Mangesh Dighe, the environment officer with PMC said, "As per the Bhurelal Committee Report we had moved the brick kilns out of the city some years ago. But there is no such rule for stone quarries."

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