CLEAN AIR ANOMALY: GURUGRAM UNIVERSITY STANDS OUT WITH ASTOUNDINGLY LOW PM LEVELS
GURUGRAM, India , Nov. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Amidst the rising pollution levels, the ban on non-essential construction activities, and the anticipated return of the odd-even scheme in the city comes a breath of fresh air.
While most areas in and around the city have recorded AQI levels of 400 and higher for days together, a university located in Gurugram seems to have beaten the odds, having consistently recorded low PM levels. Recently, these included PM2.5 of 41 and PM10 of 153.
“At Amity University Gurugram, throughout the years the particulate matters, including PM10 remain below 100, but the level around this time is higher due to stubble burning in neighbouring areas,” says Prof. P.B. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, Amity University, Gurugram.
The Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) annual average permissible limits for PM2.5, PM10 and NO2 are 40 µg/m3, 60 µg/m3 and 40 µg/m3 respectively.
Particulate matter, (PM), is the term for microscopic air pollutants, where PM2.5 are particles 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter and PM10 are particles 10 micrometers or less in diameter.
These particles are so tiny, that they can travel through the respiratory system and even enter the bloodstream.
Prolonged exposure to air pollution affects the respiratory system and can adversely affect the eyes, cardiovascular, nervous, reproductive, and urinary systems.
“Infants and young children may also be at risk of having a lower IQ in the future, developmental problems, diabetes, hypertension or obesity in the long run,” says Dr. Rinku Sengupta Dhar, Senior Consultant Obstetrician at Rainbow Children’s Hospital in Delhi.
What causes particulate matter?
Particulate matter is usually emitted by construction sites or fires but can also be created because of reactions between chemicals released by vehicles and power plants.
High air pollution levels can cause irritability, cold, cough, and breathing difficulties in the short term, resulting in low attendance in schools/universities and consequently poor academic performance.
Conversely, in colleges, such as Amity University Gurugram, which has the unique distinction of being recognized as a LEED Certified University Campus since June 2017 by the US Green Building Council (which certifies leadership in energy efficiency and environmental design) the results can be vastly different.
How does the university maintain a better AQI?
“The vehicular movement in the campus is curtailed during the day to control vehicular emission, while the thick green walls in the campus provide oxygen-rich air for its students and faculty, so students enjoy the clean air and green campus environment, even during these tumultuous situations in the capital region,” shares Prof. Sharma, past President of Association of Indian Universities and former Professor of IIT Delhi.
The university campus has a well-functioning National Air Pollution Monitoring facility within the premises, which was established in collaboration with IITM Pune and the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India.
The facility records 16 pollution parameters in real-time that include PM10, PM2.5, PM1 , and polluting gases like CO2, CO, O3, NO2, Ammonia, NH3, Benzene, and Xylene.
“It is heartening to note that from October 1 to November 5 this year the average of PM10, PM2.5, and PM1 at our monitoring station at 7 a.m. stood at 99.51, 44.57, and 7.86 microgram/ per cubic meter, respectively. This is in sharp contrast to the average during the same period at 7 a.m. at RK Puram, New Delhi of PM10 (286.98), PM2.5 (162.19), and at Gurugram Sector 51 of PM10 (215.86) and PM2.5 (138.72),” adds Dr Sahil Wadhwa, Assistant Professor and Research Scientist at Amity Centre for Air Pollution Control.
The Amity Centre for Air Pollution Control inspired and mentored by Dr. Aseem Chauhan, the Chancellor of Amity University Gurugram, was set up four years ago to study and suggest methods to combat pollution.
The research-driven university continuously strives to inspire its students to be environmentally conscious and socially responsible, by conducting rainwater harvesting, using solar power, and recycling all its water and organic waste.
Earlier this year, the university was selected as one of the top 300 universities in the world by THE Impact Ranking, which evaluates universities against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in compliance with the UN’s mission to establish universities as live laboratories of sustainability.
About Amity University Gurugram:
Amity University Gurugram has been established under Haryana Private Universities Act and is UGC recognized with the right to confer degrees across undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate level degrees. The University with its sprawling campus, student innovation incubator, and industry tie-ups with IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems & others furthers the professional and personal development of students. The university is India’s only & Asia’s 2nd University to be awarded LEED (USA) Platinum certification Green Campus. It was also selected as one of the top 300 universities in the world by THE Impact Ranking, which evaluates universities against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in compliance with the UN’s mission to establish universities as live laboratories of sustainability.
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