AIR QUALITY STATUS OF VISAKHAPATNAM (INDIA) – INDICES BASIS

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Abstract

Industrial development in Visakhapatnam is conspicuous to urban agglomeration and the city is located in a topographical bowl formed by two-hill ranges. A major portion of the city is within the bowl area wherein most of the industrial and commercial activities are existing and lies within a distance of 10 km from the shore of the Bay of Bengal. Due to the peculiar geographic location of city, wind movement is either eastern or western and is engulfed within the hill ranges. Hence, there is a possibility of buildup of air pollution levels within the city. Due to gravity of prevailing situation, air quality status of Visakhapatnam on indices basis is analyzed using a non-linear equation for variable parameters i.e. Suspended particulate matter (SPM), Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and Oxides of nitrogen (NOx), which are main criteria pollutants in India. For current analysis seasonal air quality data is used, which indicates SPM values in winter at most of the sites and in summer at few sites are exceeding the prescribed standards. Calculated indices reveal that, in winter as well as in summer, most of the locations experienced poor or bad air quality, which is mainly due to higher concentration of SPM and certain extent of SO2 values. Application of Oak Ridge Air Quality Index (ORAQI) type equations (non-linear) are helpful for air quality management plan in the region on long term basis and it has been also observed that there are certain lapses of weightage assignment for individual pollutant in application.

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