Contribution of vehicular emission on urban air quality: Results from public strike in Hyderabad

The aim of this study is to analyse the amount of atmospheric pollution caused by vehicular traffic and the public strike, during which vehicular traffic is highly curtailed, offers an excellent opportunity for our purpose. The present study is carried out through systematic in situ measurements of particulate matter (PM), black carbon (BC) and carbon monoxide (CO) over the urban region of Hyderabad, India during two public strikes on 24 December 2009 and 18-21 January 2010. The results of the study suggest that the pollutant concentration decreases to a considerable extent, especially for BC, particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5 and PM1.0) and CO in both the cases indicating that vehicular emission alone is largest contributor to air pollution. A significant reduction of BC and PM (48% and 28%, respectively in first public strike and 27% and 30%, respectively in second public strike) was observed as compared to pre-strike period. A significant reduction of about 20% in CO concentration during strike period of 18-21 January 2010 was observed as compared to pre-strike period (14-17 January 2010).