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Air Pollution

Air Pollution



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Published by: kpch on Dec 15, 2008
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10.1.1. Introduction
ir pollutant means any solid, liquid or gaseoussubstance (including noise) present in theatmosphere in such concentration that may or tendto be injurious to human beings, other living creatures, plants, property or the environment in general. Air pollutionemanates from many sources, stationary sources such asfactories, power plants, smelters and smaller sources such asdry cleaners and degreasing operations, mobile sources suchas cars, buses, planes, trucks, and trains; anthropogenicactivities and naturally occurring sources such as windblowndust and volcanic eruptions. Air pollution has beenaggravated by development that typically occurs as countries become industrialised: growing cities, increasing traffic,rapid economic development and industrialisation, andhigher levels of energy consumption.In Tamil Nadu air pollution is widespread in urbanareas where vehicles are the major contributors and in a fewother areas with a high concentration of industries andthermal power plants. Vehicular emissions are of particular concern since these are ground level sources and thus havethe maximum impact on the general population.
10.1.2. Driving Force
1.Industrialization and2.Rampant increase in vehicular population3.Indiscriminate burning of garbage and refuse
10.1.3. Pressure10.1.3.1. Increase in Urban Population
Urban development is a concomitant of industrialisation. The process of urbanisation has beenaccelerating in the State mainly due to the fact that negativerural to urban migration is created by dearth of employmentavenues in rural areas. In Tamil Nadu, the urban populationhas increased from 0.6 to 2.7 crores in forty years between1961-2001. This rapid increase in urban population hasresulted in unplanned urban development, increase inconsumption patterns and higher demands for transport,energy, other infrastructure, thereby leading to pollution problems in many places of the State. Increase in Vehicular growth
Vehicle population in the State has been increasingover the years mainly on account of growing urbanisation,rising real per capita income and increasing share of  personalized mode of transport. The number of motor vehicles has increased in the State from 46.0 lakhs in 1999-2000 to 67.5 lakhs in 2003-04. Out of these, 48 per cent areconcentrated in major cities like Chennai, Coimbatore,Salem, Madurai, Thiruchirapalli and Tirunelveli. Chennaiitself accounts for about 24.5 per cent of the total registeredvehicles and has more registered vehicles than those in theother cities. The registered vehicular population hasincreased more than two folds during the year 1996-2004.
Table 10.1 Growth of Vehicles from year 1996-2004
Year as on
31 March
Source: Commissioner of Transport, Chennai-5
10.3.3. Increase in Industrial Activity
As per the latest Annual Survey of Industries published by the Central Statistical Organisation, Tamil Nadu
         P      o         l         l      u        t         i      o      n
10.1. Air Pollution
holds a prominent position in the industrial map of India. In2002-03 among the 15 major States, Tamil Nadu was at thetop in terms of number of factories. It ranked second in providing employment and third in fixed and productivecapital, gross value of output and net value added bycontributing towards National Income. In terms of number of factories, the percentage share of Tamil Nadu to all India was15.28 per cent, 11.25 per cent of employment, 9.56 per centof gross value of output and 8.76 per cent of net value added
during 2002-03. But this status has brought with it unwantedand unanticipated consequences such as unplannedurbanisation, pollution and the risk of accidents. The CentralPollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified seventeencategories of industries (large and medium scale) assignificantly polluting and the list includes highly air  polluting industries such as integrated iron and steel, thermal power plants, copper/zinc/aluminium smelters, cement, oilrefineries, petrochemicals, pesticides and fertiliser units.Air borne emissions emitted from various industriesare a cause of major concern. These emissions are of twoforms viz., Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and gaseousemission of Sulphur dioxide (SO), Nitrogen dioxide (NO)
and Carbon monoxide (CO).Small scale industries are a special feature of State's economy and these play an important role in pollution. Tamil Nadu has over 4.20 lakh small scale unitsin 2001- 2002 registering an increase of 8.25 per centover the preceding year. In 2002-2003 the number of registered SSIs increased to 4.74 lakh. In general, Indiansmall-scale industries lack pollution control mechanisms.While the larger industries are better organised to adopt pollution control measures, the small-scale sector is poorlyequipped (both financially and technically) to handle this problem. They have a very high aggregate pollution potential.
Table 10.2 Small Scale Industries Registered 2002-03
Detailsof IndustryNo.of Units
Investment ProductionEmployment
Value in Lakhs
Food ProductsBeverages andTobacco ProductsCotton TextilesWoolSilk SyntheticJute, Hemp,Rest ProductsHosiery andReadymadeGarmentsWood andWood ProductsPaper andPaper ProductsLeather IndustriesRubber andPlastics
Chemical andChemical Products
 Non-MetallicMineral ProductsBasic MetalProductsMetal ProductsMachinery Partsexcept ElectricalElectrical PartsTransportEquipmentsMiscellaneousManufacturingIndustries
Source: Industries Commissioner and  Director of Industries and Commerce, Chennai-5.
10.1.4. State of the issue10.1.4.1. Air Pollutant emission load
The National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring(NAAQM) network is operated through the respective StatesPollution Control Boards, the National EnvironmentalEngineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur and alsothrough the CPCB. The pollutants monitored areSulphurdioxide (SO
), Nitrogen dioxide (NO
) andSuspended Particulate Matter (SPM) besides themeteorological parameters, like wind speed and direction,temperature and humidity. In addition to the threeconventional parameters, NEERI monitors special
 parameters like Ammonia (NH), Hydrogen Sulphide (HS),
Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) andPolyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). In Tamil Nadu, the NAAQM is carried out in sixteen locations whichencompasses Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Thoothukudiand Salem.Based on Annual Mean Concentration (microgram per cubic meter of ambient air) of SO, NO and SPM and the
 Notified Ambient Air Quality Standards, the Ambient Air Quality Status is described in terms of Low (L), Moderate(M), High (H) and Critical (C) for Industrial (I), Residentialand mixed use (R) areas of Cities/Towns in the state. Thedirect impact of growth in various causal factors/ pressures is the increase in the emission loads of various pollutants, which has led to deterioration of air quality.The CPCB has been monitoring Ambient Air Quality(AAQ) in Chennai and other important cities of theState.The following are the major results of the AmbientAir Quality, 2005 for select cities/towns of Tamil Nadu.
In Chennai, the minimum and maximum levelof SPM is 92 and 204, SO is 4.00 and 32 and NO
is 5 and 31 micrograms per cubic meter respectively.
In Coimbatore, the minimum and maximum level of SPM is 124 and 167, SO is 8 and 10 and NO is 43 and
31micrograms per cubic meter respectively.
In Thoothukudi, the minimum and maximum level of SPM is 68 and 70, SO is 15 and 19 and NO is 11 and
16 micrograms per cubic meter respectively.
In Madurai, the minimum and maximum level of SPM is 135 and 274, SO is 8 and 13 and NO is 23 and
26 micrograms per cubic meter respectively.
In Salem, the minimum and maximum level of SPM is78 and 122, SO is 6 and 7 and NO is 25 and 32
micrograms per cubic meter respectively.
Table 10.3 Summary of SO levels in Tamil Nadu during 2004.
CityLocationType of AreaAverage
Thiruvottriyur Municipal OfficeMadras Medical College NEERI CSIR CampusKathhivakkamManaliThiruvottriyur IIII65419201933277694949510295101LLLLLLChennai

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