Contrary to the popular belief that vehicular emission is the prime cause of air pollution, a new government study has stated that industrial emissions and road dust are the prominent causes of Particulate matter (PM) air pollution. This particulate matter remains suspended in the air and can lead to serious health problems like allergy, dry cough, asthma and other pulmonary diseases.
This study was carried across 7 big cities in the country, including Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Kanpur and Chennai. Vehicular contribution to PM pollution is only 7%, while road dust contributes to about 50% of the total pollution. Winter and post monsoon are the most critical periods when the pollution rates were found to higher than usual. Among the cities that were surveyed pollution due to road dust was the highest in Delhi. While industrial activity was the leading cause of pollution in Mumbai and Kanpur.
The study also suggested measures like better maintenance of roads, paving unpaved roads and footpaths to improve the quality of air in urban areas.