Smog engulfs city, hits visibility on highways

AMRITSAR: A week after heavy rains brought delightful respite by settling down dust particles in the air, city residents again woke up to a thin sheet of smog covering the sky.

Smog engulfs city, hits visibility on highways

Dense smog cover makes it tough for the commuters to drive in Amritsar on Wednesday. Vishal Kumar

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 13

A week after heavy rains brought delightful respite by settling down dust particles in the air, city residents again woke up to a thin sheet of smog covering the sky. The weather remained cloudy throughout the day.

The smog cover decreased visibility on highways. Residents also complained of heaviness in breathing. Medical experts have advised people to stay indoors and avoid earlier morning walks if the condition continues to persist.

Though the burning of crop residue in fields is an obvious reason, many believe that the bursting of firecrackers is the imminent cause. “The first smog in city was witnessed the day following Diwali night and now it has reappeared after Gurpurb as firecrackers were bursted to celebrate Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary,” said a teacher of Guru Nanak Dev University, who preferred anonymity.

Residents said the government and religious organisations should reach consensus to stop the bursting of firecrackers on all occasions such as Diwali, Dasehra and Gurpurb. “The SGPC, being the most prestigious religious body in the region, must take lead and desist from organising firework shows. Though it claims to use eco-friendly crackers, residents prefer traditional ones,” said an elderly Kirpal Singh. He added that there were other ways to celebrate these festivals instead of bursting crackers.

Meanwhile, chest specialist Dr Naresh Chawla said chest congestion was a general problem in early winter days but it increases when the concentration of displaced dust particles in the air rises. “People can keep them safe by staying indoors,” he said.

Chief specialist and assistant professor (paediatrics) Dr Sandeep Aggarwal said: “Children need to be taken special care of. The times they spend in the open needs to be curtailed.” Difficulty in breathing should not be ignored and medical advice should be sought, he said.

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