Golden Temple’s air quality good: Monitoring station

AMRITSAR: Contrary to previous studies indicating poor air quality around the Golden Temple, the air pollution monitoring system has found that air quality is good in and around the shrine.

Golden Temple’s air quality good: Monitoring station

The continuous ambient air quality monitoring station on the premises of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 18

Contrary to previous studies indicating poor air quality around the Golden Temple, the air pollution monitoring system has found that air quality is good in and around the shrine.

The state-of-the-art Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station, set up by the central and state pollution control boards, has released the average of the main constituents of the air in the past six months.

The station became operational on April 20 and it will be handed over to the Punjab Pollution Control Board this month.

A display screen will be installed in the Golden Temple complex for live streaming of data in the next few days. This data can also be accessed on the Central Pollution Control Board website.

Monitoring station incharge Munish Kumar Dhiman said the average of the main gases in the past six months shows that the air around the Golden Temple was of good quality.

The particulate matter (PM10) concentration was 70 micrograms (mg) per cubic metre, which — as per the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) — was below the danger mark of 100 mg per cubic metre.

The PM 2.5 concentration was around 40 mg per cubic metre, well below the 60 mg per cubic metre mark.

Nitrogen dioxide, which establishes the level of automobile pollution, was also found safe at about 15 mg per cubic metre, way below the danger mark of 100 mg per cubic metre.

The quarterly data released in July had stated alarming figures. PM 10 was between 125 to 175 mg per cubic metre and PM 2.5 between 22 to 70 mg per cubic metre.

The monitoring system was installed after various studies carried out by different agencies had painted a grim picture of pollution around the shrine.

Punjab Pollution Control Board Environment Engineer Jaswant Singh Randhawa said the current data was an average of the past six months while the previous data coincided with a period when construction was in full swing and stubble and crop residue burning was also being carried out on a large scale.

He said the government and the SGPC had initiated several corrective measures. Coal hearths were banned in the vicinity of the Golden Temple. These were being used by gold jewellers, food outlets and dhaba owners. Besides, most vehicles now do not go beyond the Saragarhi parking at Dharam Singh Market chowk.

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