Pune: The Hinjawadi Residents Welfare Association (HIRWA), a citizen group, along with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), has installed air quality monitoring system in the housing societies within the IT Park limits of Hinjawadi.
The air quality of the area, which houses some of the best Information Technology companies and has seen phenomenal real estate growth, is deteriorating due to illegal and unchecked garbage burning.
“The air quality monitoring system has been installed at three locations - Blue Ridge School in Hinjawadi Phase I; Sovereign Sarathi Housing Society in Hinjawadi Phase II; and Megapolis Housing Society in Hinjawadi Phase III. The readings can be accessed using Air Quality Index (AQI India) mobile app and also on AQI India website,” said member of HIRWA, Ravindra Sinha. He said on some days they have recorded pollution levels of more than 400 AQI value which comes under severe category.
A resident of Blue Ridge Society, Rohit Halbe, said, “Recently the open garbage dumping and burning has reduced due to collective action taken by HIRWA members to stop such events.” He added that last week, garbage burning was spotted and the AQI on that day was 150 which comes under poor (AQI) values.
Resident of Sovereign Sarathi Housing Society, Anubhav Misuriya also blamed vehicular pollution and construction activities for the poor quality of air. The quality of air improves during monsoon, said Anshul Gupta, resident of Megapolis Society, adding that in January and February, the AQI had crossed 300.
Deteriorating air quality
Scientist and Project Director at the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research, Dr Gufran Beig, said, “The Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 of air quality has increased to 55 micrograms per metre cube from its permissible limits 40. We have an Observational Network based at Bhumkar Chowk and the reading which we received last year was 73 micrograms per metre cube which is poor.”