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Chandigarh

Posted at: Nov 7, 2017, 2:16 AM; last updated: Nov 7, 2017, 2:16 AM (IST)

Air pollution up in the city, courtesy stubble burning

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6

Stubble burning in neighbouring states has increased the pollution level in the city. Data collected by the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) during the past few days reveals that there has been an increase in the air pollution level at all stations where it was monitored. 

The pollution was monitored at IMTECH, Sector 39, the Industrial Area, Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12, Kaimbala village and Sector 17. Sources said on November 4, the respiratory suspended particulate matter (RSPM)  was 190 against the standard 100 at IMTECH, Sector 39.  It also crossed the permissible limit at Sector 17 where it was 164. Even at Kaimbala village, it was 156 against the limit of 100.

The RSPM level was more alarming on Friday (November 3). The RSPM level was 213 in the Industrial Area on Friday, more than double the permissible limit. It was 200 the same day at Punjab Engineering College, Sector 12.

An increase has also been noticed in the suspended particulate matter (SPM).

Environmental experts said increasing number of vehicles and stubble burning in neighboring states were among the reasons for environment pollution in the city.

Starting in late September every year, farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, set their paddy fields on fire after the harvest. Despite being warned against it, they continue to opt for the low-cost straw-disposal practice. The resultant smoke gets carried by winds and now poses a challenge to city residents.  

The pollution level during the past two days was more than that recorded on Diwali this year. The RSPM was 169 in Sector 22,  172 in Sector 29 and 225 in Sector 17 on Diwali.

The RSPM (fine particles), when inhaled, can cause damage to the lungs. The RSPM aggravates asthma and other respiratory problems.

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