Methane emissions go unchecked in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: The city is suffering from poor quality of air and water, but the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) does not have a mechanism to monitor the emission of highly inflammable and foul smelling methane from city's landfills. 

A highly-placed KSPCB official, who wished not to be identified, told Deccan Chronicle, "We monitor around 12 parameters for air pollution. But monitoring methane from landfills is not a regular programme."

Though methane is considered more harmful than carbon monoxide, no mechanism to monitor the highly inflammable gas has confounded environmental activists. Last year, people complained to the KSPCB about the stench emanating from the landfills, but no mechanism was put in place, the officer said. 

"The leachate from landfills enters water bodies and can lead to deformities among children. Monitoring of methane is essential to contain the problem," said Ms Sandhya Narayan, a member of the Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT). 

She said that though the country is suffering from unregulated dumping, Bengaluru has fared well in containing the problem. 

"Methane affects the quality of air and water. Even if air pollution is difficult to control, what stops them from preventing the worsening quality of water due to landfills," she asked.

Now, the pollution control board monitors the level of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, PM10 and PM2.5. 

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