The image is for representative purposes only
Partner- Pedal For a Change
There’s a silent crisis brewing in Guwahati and it’s time we look east
Guwahati, the largest city of Assam, is engulfed in the folds of toxic air. According to data from the World Air Quality Index, Guwahati was included in the undesirable list of the ‘10 most polluted cities in Asia’; At certain times in the past, the levels of toxic air have been similar to those found in the country’s capital- Delhi and at other times, it has surpassed even those levels.
The magnitude of the problem is much larger than we can imagine. The unavailability of adequate data on air quality in Guwahati makes the issue at hand even more complicated. And we, the citizens, are bearing the brunt of this poisonous air. Among the major health issues, experts note that residents are increasingly reporting cases of asthma, lung disease, respiratory trouble, and even bronchitis! Pregnant women, children, and the elderly are at even higher risk of complications.
Widespread construction activities and increasing vehicular emissions are some of the factors contributing to elevated levels of air pollution in the city.
On examination of levels of PM 2.5 in the city of Guwahati in the first quarter of this year, Central Pollution Control Board data reveals that the city recorded an AQI of over 300 or ‘very poor’ for numerous days. This data highlights the urgency to address the air pollution crisis in Guwahati, among other states in the North East. There seems to be a vast gap between accepted standards of particulate matter (PM) as per national (CPCB) and international (WHO) standards.
We urge the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) to
Set up more real-time air quality monitoring stations in the city of Guwahati that record data to precision
The PCBA must push for new national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) based on the updated WHO air quality guidelines which are based on the latest scientific understanding.
Tailor NCAP program to address localized concerns by taking regional inputs into consideration
From the citizens perspective, apart from the above considerations, people in Guwahati would also like authorities to provide better cycling infrastructure. This includes more cycle parking stands, which would encourage people to opt for cycling as a means of commuting, rather than motor vehicles that exacerbate air pollution.
Sign the petition
Together, we can help mitigate the ever-looming air pollution crisis, so Guwahati is restored to its pristine glory!