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Hazy morning in Bengaluru: Fog or pollution?

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    Bengaluru woke up to a hazy morning on Tuesday which can be attributed to cold weather conditions as well as rising levels of pollution in the city.

    Soon after Diwali in October, there was a smog-like cover over parts of Bengaluru due to lack of rain and the presence of humidity. Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) officials had said last year the thick layer of smoke in the air was absent as there was some amount of rainfall during Deepavali.

    [Pollution: Are we waiting for Bengaluru to become Delhi?]

    Bengaluru does not yet feature in the list of top most polluted cities in India, but it looks like it will break into that list soon. Among the key southern cities that were monitored by Central Pollution Control Board, Bangalore recorded 57% increase in PM10 between 2010 and 2014, highest among southern cities. PM10 means particles measuring between 2.5 to 10 micrometers.

    Photo of BTM layout on Tuesday morning

    Photo of BTM layout on Tuesday morning

    The worrying matter, at least in Bengaluru, is that the bodies that ought to be enforcing laws to ensure that pollution levels are in check are not taking the matter seriously. No Bengalurean can deny that they have not come across vehicles emitting black smoke or garbage being burnt in the open. Even some of the BMTC buses could be seen emitting thick black smoke and polluting the environment.

    Another Tuesday morning image

    Another Tuesday morning image

    Tempos and autos emitting black smoke pass right in front of a traffic policeman and they pay no heed to it. After Deepawali, a report stated that the city recorded a 46.8% rise in the level of air pollutants.

    Garbage being burnt in the open near Banashankari bus stand

    Garbage being burnt in the open near Banashankari bus stand

    Garbage being burnt openly significantly contributes to PM10 level in the atmosphere. The garbage being burnt in the above photo is not even segregated and fumes emitted by burning plastic is toxic.

    Garbage set on fire in elite Jayanagar area

    Garbage set on fire in elite Jayanagar area

    The workers employed by city's corporation are not even aware that they are polluting the air by setting waste on fire. Educating them is the need of the hour.

    Foggy morning in Delhi

    Foggy morning in Delhi

    Even Delhi woke up to a foggy morning on Tuesday, but in northern parts of the country this is common in winter. What is worrying is that when temperature dips, the particulate matter settles down and make air hazardous for health.

    (Image courtesy - ANI/Twitter)

    It is now when the matter has gone out of hand that administration in Delhi is frantically announcing measures to curb the pollution. Some five to six years back, pollution and air quality were not taken seriously even in Delhi as the effects were not visible. So, it can be said that neither people nor the authorities actually wake up till the problem are at their doorstep and by then it is usually too late.

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