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| Last Updated:: 10/06/2015

Air Pollution


Photograph: Internet



Growing air pollution has emerged as a serious concern in the city, with vehicular emission and dust contributing a major share of the deteriorating air quality. The Pollution Control Board Assam (PCBA) which has been monitoring the city’s ambient air quality under the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) has recorded high levels of air pollution in all its monitoring stations in the city. Data with the air quality monitoring station at Bamunimaidam reveals presence of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) and suspended particulate matter (SPM) well above the prescribe limit since 2008.


The presence of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen was, however, within the permissible limits at all the monitoring stations.


The ambient air quality of the city did not reveal any specific trend or pattern during the study period. The year-to-year increases or decreases of the value of the parameters monitored are random and did not conform to ant particular trend.


The yearly average values of RSPM and SPM have been either high or in critical condition in almost all the locations.  


The PCBA has increased the number of monitoring stations from four to six in the city under the NAMP programme. A proposal has also been submitted to the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi, for setting up a continuous air ambient air quality monitoring station in the city.

Underscoring the need for intensive monitoring of the ambient air quality, a database was a must for facilitating formulation of an appropriate action plan for restoration of air quality in the city.


The northeastern Indian city Guwahati has one of the highest Black Carbon pollution levels in the world. It is due to the rapid urbanization and poor environment quality control in Guwahati which is giving rise to such high BC levels. Guwahati is one of India's most rapidly growing cities since the last 10-12 years. For a rapidly urbanizing city like Guwahati with a million and half population, unfortunately, it doesn't have the infrastructure to sustain this growth. For example, there are just two major roads - GS road and the GNB road - connecting different parts of the city, and very poor public transportation system. The result is people prefer travelling in their private vehicles, which gives rise to severe traffic congestion and increased BC emissions from idling vehicles. With more and more people these days purchasing private vehicles, the energy consumption (fossil fuel) and BC emissions have increased tremendously.


The other reason which is affecting Guwahati is unplanned and open burning of solid waste disposal right in the city itself. People don't realize the amount of BC and toxic pollutants which are emitted from burning of waste disposal.


Guwahati has one of the highest BC pollution levels in the world which is alarming.


(Source:, updated on May 2015 )



Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981


National Ambient Air Quality Standards


For More Statistical Air Pollution Related Information Click ISBEID