It is time for Patna residents, especially fitness freaks, to be vigilant as the air in Bihar’s capital shows signs of high pollution. A study on particulate matter in the ambient air in Patna City (Bihar) in 2021, carried out jointly by the TERI (Tata Energy Research Institute) and the Center for Environment, Energy and Climate Change (CEECC), a wing of the ADRI (Asian Development Research Institute), headed by the Bihar State Pollution Control Board, has revealed some surprising facts.

According to the study, the concentration of fine particulate matter (PM) or particle pollution in the air of the state capital is much higher than the mandatory standards in summer and winter, and dust, which consists of either soil or road or building materials, is the main culprit in this particle pollution both seasons.

The report also found that in summer the concentration of PM (particulate) 10 in the state capital’s air was 1.73 to 2.71 micrograms per cubic meter higher than average standards, while in winter the PM 10 concentration here was 1, 98 to 2.77 micrograms per. was cubic meters higher than average.

Even the concentration of PM 2.5, which is significantly lower than that of PM 10 and is far more dangerous and hazardous to health, was 1.37 to 3.28 micrograms per cubic meter higher than the average winter standards in the state capital.

The largest sources of PM 2.5 in city air were brick kilns near the state capital, as well as vehicle emissions, biomass burning, and dust from the banks of the Ganges, roads, and construction on in the city.

The study discussed the sources of air pollution in the city and suggested some solutions. It recommended the creation of a green belt with local tree species with a dense canopy on the banks of the Ganges to prevent wind-blown dust segments from entering the city.

Using clean fuels like gas, electricity instead of biomass, coal in brick kilns and other factories in and around the city, improving the vehicle inspection and maintenance program in and around the city, improving the public transport system, preferably on electric transport, and installing an electric charging infrastructure and the need to encourage non-motorized traffic to people within 5 to 6 km of the city and the development of non-motorized lanes wherever possible within the city have been suggestions.

The report “Receptor Modeling Based Source Apportionment Study of Ambient Particulate Matter in Patna City (Bihar) 2021” was published on Friday by the Minister for Forests, Environment and Climate Change, Niraj Singh, at an event in the state capital.

“Global warming is a global problem. The state government works tirelessly to mitigate its effects and save the environment. Poor women were given gas bottles under the Ujjawala Yojna to stop cooking pollution. We also have the goal of planting five million young trees and we are about to achieve that goal, ”said the minister.

Given the need for regular air quality monitoring, test centers are being set up in 24 counties, he added. People also need to be educated about the causes of air pollution and its impact on life, said the minister. Every individual must make efforts in this direction, he added.

Dr. Ashok Kumar Ghosh, chairman of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board, said single-use carrier bags have been banned as part of efforts to protect the environment. But it needs to be implemented effectively, he added.

S Chandrashekhar, a member of the secretary of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board, said the air quality survey was carried out in the state capital to see the exact situation. “Before we make any development plans, we need to know what the problems are and what causes them,” he said. So the study focused on the sources of air pollution and then the solutions were discussed, he added.