Panaji: Pollution levels in major cities in Goa have exceeded permissible limits with the port town of Vasco emerging as the most polluted city in the coastal state known for beach tourism, as per a state government survey.
In its annual report 2017-18, the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has underlined that pollution levels in cities like Panaji, Ponda, Mapusa, and Margaon are higher than the permissible limits.
The report was made public yesterday on the occasion of World Environment Day.
As per a study conducted by the GSPCB, levels of PM10(particulate matter of 10 microns diameter) and PM2.5 are found to be much above the permissible limits in these cities.
Goa, known for its picturesque beaches and often called as the beach capital of India, consists of two districts–South Goa and North Goa. The state shares common border with Maharashtra and Karnataka.
PM or Particulate Matter is microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in Earth’s atmosphere. PM impacts climate as well as precipitation that adversely affect human health.
Vasco, which is home for port and other establishments, recorded the maximum pollution during the period under review, it said.
“The PM10, which needs to be at 40pg/m3 (per gram cubic metre) is more than double at 81 pg/m3 in Vasco. Ponda stood second where PM10 levels are nearly double than the permissible limit at 78.8pg/m3. Similar levels for other cities like Panaji are 75.2 pg/m3, Mapusa (73pg/m3) and Margao(68.7pg/m3),” it stated.
Among these cities, Panaji and Margao are the favourite tourist destinations.
GSPCB has attributed the high level of air pollution to increasing vehicular movement in Panaji, Mapusa, Vasco, and Margao and subsequent rise in resultant population.
Amongst all the establishments, Vasco-based Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) was the most polluted area with PM10 level at as high as 129.7pg/m3. The permissible limit for PM10 is 40pg/m3.
As per a data released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) last month, Delhi and Varanasi are among the 14 Indian cities that figured in a list of 20 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM 2.5 levels in 2016.