Bengaluru and Tumakuru are the two most polluted cities in Karnataka, closely followed by Davangere, a new study has revealed. Among 20 Karnakata cities whose air pollution data were compared, Bengaluru, Tumakuru and Davangere have emerged as the worst sufferers of air pollution. Raichur, Kalaburagi, Hubballi and Dharwad, too, exceed the national average.
However, compared to the northern cities, the ambient air in southern India is far cleaner, says the report that compared data of 168 cities n 24 states. The report prepared by NGO Greenpeace India compares the PM-10 (dust particles of 10 micron diameter) level in 2015 using data obtained from the Central and state pollution control boards.The annual PM-10 level for Bengaluru and Tumakuru stands at around 120 microgram per cubic metre, whereas the corresponding figure for Davangere is 100. Raichur is marginally behind at 90, while the national average is 60.A source contribution study for Bengaluru found emergence of diesel generator sets as a major source of pollution contributing to 13% of PM-10 and 25% of PM-2.5 load.The study was commissioned by the Central Pollution Control Board and carried out by The Energy and Resources Institute in 2010.The share of transportation increases from 19% in PM-10 to 50% in PM-2.5 depicting dominance of finer particles in the vehicular exhaust.

Contribution of industries to the particulate matter is low in Bengaluru, primarily due to the absence of any largescale air pollution unit. However, their contribution in the Peenya industrial zone is high.On a national scale, the top 20 most polluted cities have PM-10 levels between 268 and 168 microgram per cubic metre in 2015.Delhi tops the list with 268 microgram, followed closely by Ghaziabad, Allahabad and Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh; Faridabad in Haryana; Jharia in Jharkhand; Alwar in Rajasthan; Ranchi, Kusunda and Bastacola in Jharkhand; Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Patna in Bihar.”We are facing an apocalypse right now due to unbreathable air. Deaths due to air pollution are only a fraction less than those caused by tobacco consumption,” said Sunil Dahiya, campaigner, Greenpeace India.

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