60% of winter days in Koramangala were of poor air quality: Jhatkaa’s air quality monitors

Bengaluru 9 December, 2017 Around 60% of the winter days in the last two months have had moderate to poor pollution, according to air quality monitors installed by Jhatkaa.org in Koramangala.

Jhatkaa.org has installed air quality monitors, which monitor PM2.5 and PM10, in Koramangala 6th block and ST Bed Layout.

Here are some other highlights from the air quality data:

(For more information and charts, please click here)

“There is no denying that winters are the worst time of year in terms of air quality be it Delhi, Patna or Bengaluru. Yes, the extent of air pollution is not as severe as Delhi’s, but it is still in the moderate to poor zone. We should not be content by the fact that we’re not as bad as Delhi. We need to make sure our beautiful garden city does not reach a point of no return,” said Noah D’Mello, Senior Campaigner, Jhatkaa.org.

Jhatkaa wants the KSPCB to install more continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations; based on the recommendation by the CPCB, an expanding metropolitan city like Bengaluru requires 41 monitoring stations.

Currently, there are 17 air quality monitors in the city, and 5 more have been reportedly purchased by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB). But the latest air quality data on the KSPCB website is that of October 2017.

“What is the point of providing data that is not real-time or worse, two months old? Even if the old data could bring about a change in policies, then maybe we could say it’s worth it. But vehicular pollution is not tackled and as seen by air quality monitors, the air quality is not improving. There are insufficient measures in place to tackle this. It’s time the government comes up with a plan,” said Divya Narayanan, Campaigns Manager, Jhatkaa.org.

Almost 4,000 people who live, work, study or travel through Koramangala received regular updates on the area’s air quality along with health advisories and certain do’s and don’ts via SMS.

“Breathing clean air is a right and people should be aware what they’re breathing. If we can generate interest in ordinary citizens to know what the air quality is like by low cost air quality monitors like ours, then the government should take the necessary steps to install more monitors and have the data in the public domain. Knowing the air quality will also help citizens change/alter their lifestyle -- they will take personal measures towards protecting themselves and their family in addition to demanding mitigation solutions from the government,” D’Mello concluded.

About Jhatkaa.org:

Jhatkaa.org is a campaigning organisation committed to building grassroots citizen power across India in effective and innovative ways. Jhatkaa.org helps people take action collectively on issues that interest or affect them, and create change that would not be possible if they acted alone.

Jhatkaa.org also collaborates with civil society to engage citizens to hold corporate, cultural and government leaders accountable in real time at key decision moments through various digital communication platforms. Read more about Jhatkaa.org’s victories and press hits.

For more information, please contact:

Noah D’Mello