Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. 23-August, 2011 15:35 IST
Level of Air and Noise Pollutions in the Country

 

The Central Government has notified the National Ambient Air Quality Standards in November, 2009 with 12 pollutants (Annexure-I).  It includes five gaseous pollutants (SO2, NO2, O2, CO and NH3), two dust related parameters (PM10 and PM2.5), three metals (Lead, Nickel and Arsenic) and two organic pollutants (Benzene and BaP – particulate phase). Similarly, National Ambient Noise Standards have been notified and different noise levels have been prescribed for silence, residential, commercial and industrial areas, in terms of ‘equivalent continuous noise level’ (Annexure – II).

The level of pollution with respect to ambient air is regularly monitored at 456 locations in 190 cities, towns and industrial areas across the country by the Central Pollution Control Board in association with various State Pollution Control Boards and NEERI, Nagpur in terms of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 micron) under National Air Monitoring Programme (NAMP).  Air quality data reveals that the annual average concentration of SO2 is within the limit (50 µg/m3), while levels of NO2 have exceeded the limit (40 µg/m3) in Asansol, Dhanbad, Delhi, Jamshedpur, Kolkata, Meerut and Mumbai during 2010. The norms of PM10 (annual average – 60 µg/m3) are exceeded in most of the metropolitan cities, except Chennai, Kochi and Madurai during 2010. NO2 is an emerging pollutant.   Overall, there is a mixed trend in the levels of urban air pollution.

                Also, a National Ambient Noise Monitoring Network has been established in seven metropolitan cities, namely, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Bengaluru with five stations in each city during 2010-11.  The ambient noise levels are exceeding the standards at many locations.  However, data on noise monitoring is limited and a trend has not emerged. 

                The steps taken by the Government to contain air pollution in the cities include, inter alia, strengthening of public transport, supply of cleaner fuel as per Auto Fuel Policy, use of beneficiated coal in thermal power plants, more stringent mass emission norms for new vehicles in select cities, ‘Pollution Under Control’ certificate system for in-use vehicles, strict implementation of emission and effluent norms in air and water polluting industries. In addition, city-specific Ambient Air Quality Improvement Programme for 17 identified cities is implemented by concerned authorities.

                To reduce ambient noise levels, apart from ambient noise standards, noise limits for automobiles, sound emitting fire crackers, generator sets and domestic appliances have been notified.  Noise levels in these cases are enforced at manufacturing stage.  Further, through a recent amendment to Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, noise restrictions have been placed during ‘night time’.

 

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Annexure –I

NATIONAL AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARDS (2009)

                S. No.

Pollutant

Time Weighted Average

               Concentration in  Ambient Air

Industrial, Residential, Rural and other area

Ecologically Sensitive area (notified by Central Government)

Methods of Measurement

1

Sulphur Dioxide

(SO2), µg/m3

Annual*

 

24 hours**

  50

 

  80

   20

 

   80

- Improved West and Gaeke

-Ultraviolet fluorescence

2

Nitrogen Dioxide

(NO2), µg/m3

Annual*

 

24 hours**

  40

 

­­­­  80

   30

 

   80

- Modified Jacob &    Hochheiser (Na-Arsenite)

- Chemiluminescence

3

Particulate Matter (size less than 10µm) or PM10 µg/m3

Annual*

 

24 hours**

  60

 

100

   60

 

  100

- Gravimetric

-TOEM

-Beta attenuation

4

Particulate Matter (size less than 2.5µm) or PM2.5  µg/m3

Annual*

 

24 hours**

  40

 

  60

   40

 

   60

- Gravimetric

-TOEM

-Beta attenuation

5

Ozone (O3)

 µg/m3

8 hours**

 

1 hour**

 100

 

 180

 100

 

 180

- UV photometric    

- Chemiluminescence

- Chemical method

6

Lead (Pb)

 µg/m3

Annual*

 

24 hours**

            0.50

 

            1.0

   0.50

 

 1.0

- AAS /ICP method after sampling on EPM 2000 or equivalent filter paper

- ED-XRF using Teflon filter

7

Carbon

Monoxide(CO) mg/m3

8 hours**

 

1 hour**

  02

 

  04

  02

 

  04

- Non Dispersive  Infra Red (NDIR) spectroscopy

8

Ammonia(NH3) µg/m3

Annual*

24 hours**

100

400

100

400

-Chemiluminescence

-Indophenol blue method

 

9

 

Benzene (C6H6) µg/m3

 

Annual*

 

 

  05

 

 

 

  05

 

- gas chromatography based continuous

-Adsorption and

Desorption followed by GC analysis

10

BaP (particulate phase only) ng/m3

 

Annual*

 

 

  01

 

  01

 

-Solvent extraction

followed by HPLC/GC analysis

 

11

 

Arsenic, ng/m3

 

Annual*

 

  06

 

 

  06

 

- AAS /ICP method after sampling on EPM 2000 or equivalent filter paper

 

12

 

Nickel, ng/m3

 

Annual*

 

 20

 

  20

 

- AAS /ICP method after sampling on EPM 2000 or equivalent filter paper

*    Annual arithmetic mean of minimum 104 measurements in a year at a particular site taken twice a week 24 hourly at uniform intervals.

**     24 hourly or 08 hourly or 01 hourly monitored values, as applicable, shall be complied with 98% of the time in a year. 2% of the time, they may exceed the limits but not on two consecutive days of monitoring.

 

Note– Whenever and wherever monitoring results on two consecutive days of monitoring exceed the limits specified above for the respective category, it shall be considered adequate reason to institute regular or continuous monitoring and further investigation.”.

Annexure-I

      AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARDS IN RESPECT OF NOISE

Area Code

Category of Area/Zone

Limit in dB (A) Leq

Day

Night

A

Industrial Area

75

70

B

Commercial Area

65

55

C

Residential Area

55

45

D

Silence Zone

50

40


    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

Day time shall mean from  6.00 AM to 10.00 PM.

Night time shall mean from  10.00 PM to 6.00 AM.

Silence Zone is defined as an area comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts. The Silence Zones are zones which are declared as such by the competent authority.

Mixed categories of areas may be declared as one of the four above mentioned categories by the competent authority.

*dB(A) Leq denotes the time weighted average of the level of sound in decibels on scale A which is relatable to human hearing.

A “decibel” is a unit in which noise is measured.

“A”, in dB(A) Leq, denotes the frequency weighing in the measurement of noise and corresponds to frequency response characteristics of the human ear.

Leq : It is an energy mean of the noise level over a specific period.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge) Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan in a written reply to a question by Dr. Vijay Mallya in Rajya Sabha today.

    

        KP

 


(Release ID :74889)