A recent studys revelations have brought focus to the issue of increased pollution in Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi, Lucknow and Kanpur have been named the most polluted UP cities. With the State Elections less than a month away, concerned citizens of the state were spoken to. Many wanted the pollution issue to be featured in the manifestos of candidates. Claiming that the pollution levels should be a serious subject, they wanted candidates to acknowledge the levels it had crossed and suggest possible solutions to mitigate the adverse effects people were facing.
According to a study of 17 cities covered by the National Air Quality Index (NAQI) and released by Greenpeace India on Tuesday it was revealed that Varanasi, Kanpur, and Lucknow were among the six most highly polluted cities. Officials said a high level of Particular Matter (PM2.5) in the air is of concern for people. According to National Ambient Air Quality Standards, PM2.5 level in the air in the industrial and residential areas should be 60 micrograms per cubic metres for the 24 hour standard. However, according to continuous air quality monitoring station installed in Ardali Bazar of Varanasi, the average PM2.5 level in the air there was 370 micrograms per cubic metre. In Kanpur, the average PM2.5 level recorded was 345 micrograms per cubic metre. In Lucknow, the average PM2.5 level recorded was 411 micrograms per cubic metre in the Central School area, 358 in the Talkatora Industrial Area and 331 in the Lalbagh area.
Air pollution has been ignored for ages now, treated as of a mild concern. Will it finally become an Election-issue this year?